I’m not a stickler for routine, so ‘Meat Free Monday’ doesn’t always happen on a Monday for me. Over the past few years I’ve been consciously reducing my meat intake and trying to have at least one day a week where every dish is vegetarian or vegan. I’ve always loved vegetables so this is no hardship for me.
I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find polenta so comforting. Especially when it’s got oodles of butter and creamy goodness added to it. Mmmmm! It’s also ready in a few minutes, which always gets my vote. In fact this whole dish took about 15 minutes; perfect for a lazy, mid-week supper.
Definitely not one to turn your nose up at; and might even convince even the most hardened meat-lover to go veggie every now and then!
Sorry the quantities aren’t more precise – I made this just for me, so increase the amount of veg etc. if making for more than one!
Polenta (plus water to boil) – make extra then you can keep the spare for frying or lunch / dinner the next night
Milk, crème fraiche and Philadelphia
4-5 mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
½ white onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove
1 big handful kale
Salt and pepper
Grated cheddar (pick a veggie cheese if you prefer)
1) Slice the mushrooms and onions, put in frying pan with oil, butter and seasoning and cook on a medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Turn down once started to caramelise and stir.
2) After another couple of minutes add the kale, along with a bit of water and the roughly chopped garlic. Cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the kale has softened. Turn off the heat but keep warm.
3) Boil the kettle and measure the water using a jug, pour into a pan and bring up to boil. Add some salt. Pour in the polenta stirring constantly with a whisk.
4) Reduce the heat and continue stirring until thickened. This takes a matter of minutes. Add all the creamy goods in whatever quantities you like (treat it like you would mash potato), taste and check the seasoning. It can be bland so you will want to do this before serving.
5) Pour some of your creamy polenta into a bowl, top with the mushrooms, onion and kale and grate some cheddar on top. Add some black pepper and olive oil if you like. Done!
Tip – with the spare polenta, pour it into an oven-proof dish. This means if you decide to bake it rather than fry you don’t have to worry about transferring it to a new container. If you roast it, I like to add a couple of knobs of butter, a bit more seasoning and grated Parmesan. It’s really yummy with a meat stew or sausages.