October 22, 2002
Mushroomy Polenta
posted by Nadia

One of the best parts of dog-sitting for folks on vacation is the fabulous prizes you get upon their return. Although I would have suspected that mom and Chris would be too busy having fun in California, sampling Sonoma wines, and dining at Chez Panisse (!!!) to think of those of us stuck in frigid Northeast, they came back bearing gifts from the farmer's market. In addition to a huge hunk of Scharfen Berger chocolate, lovely strawberries, and a few pieces of dried white nectarines, we received a bunch of fresh mushrooms -- oyster, chanterelle, and others I didn't even recognize (see above).

With perfect mushrooms like these, we figured simple would be best. I first made some plain polenta, cooking it in a combination of milk and water to give it some extra creaminess. Then we simply sautéed some shallots with the mushrooms until beautifully browned (these extra-potent mushrooms hardly gave up any water), added garlic, some white wine, a bit of butter, and finished it off with parlsey. They tasted fabulous served over polenta -- nice and meaty, with a good earthy flavor, and absolutely no need for parmesan at all.

fresh mushrooms and chocolate