Creamy Polenta Topped With Truffled Mushrooms

Posted on by on September 14th, 2011 | 27 Comments »

I have a crush on polenta. That cornmeal that hides in the back of most pantries and becomes a big pot of mush when cooked. To me this mush is total comfort food. Even though to most people polenta is a winter food that warms your belly when the temperature drops, I am not a fair weather lover and it graces my dinner table at least twice a week even in these warm summer months. Besides being super easy to make polenta can be the base for a variety of different dishes, can be eaten hot and creamy or crisp with a salad. It can be used in place of breadcrumbs and can even be baked into cakes. Who wouldn’t have a crush on something so diverse and delicious?

I also have a crush a bit more refined then polenta. Truffles. No, not the chocolate kind (though I kinda have a crush on them too) the fruiting body of an underground mushroom kind that can only be found by the help of animals. The ridiculously expensive kind. The strong aromatic and earthy kind. The kind that is sliced thin and eaten raw with foie gras, steaming buttered pasta, cheeses or meat. The truffle I fell in love with while dining at Le Bernardin in NYC so many years ago. Since truffles are a bit too much money for me to buy and I am not very qualified to go truffle hunting I must use the next best thing, truffle oil. Though not exactly the same as a fresh shaved truffle slice, truffle oil does fine as a stand in.

Last year Katherine and I went to the Jerusalem food festival and while it was a complete and total bust it ended with a unexpected visit to my now most favorite restaurant in Israel, Mahaneyuda. Aside from having some of the best food I have had the pleasure of eating in this wonderful country, it may be the most fun dining experience ever. Seriously, they blast music and dance around and sing. The kitchen is open to the restaurant and the cooks bang on pans like drums. Oh and they give you a free shot of Arak while you wait for your table. Their creamy polenta with truffled mushrooms with it’s delicate smoothness and earthy tones made me swoon and made me and Katherine size each other up over who would get the last bite (ugh who’s idea was it to share anyway?)

This is my version of Mahaneyuda’s fabulous creamy polenta with truffled mushrooms. I even served it in a jar like they did because I want to be awesome like them.


For Polenta

1 cup polenta
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

For Mushrooms

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces of mushrooms (any kind you like), sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
truffle oil to taste


For polenta: In a saucepan heat milk over medium heat until just boiling.
Remove pot from flame and slowly add polenta while stirring.
Return pan to flame and cook covered for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly.
When polenta is done cooking and is creamy, stir in butter and parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For mushrooms: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add shallots and saute until golden.
Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms release their juices.
Add chicken broth and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
Drizzle mushrooms with truffle oil.
Serve over creamy polenta.

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  1. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    Well, in Italy polenta is a very winter food! We usually eat it with stew, sausages or with cheese. Yours with mushrooms looks divine!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      I know its mostly a winter food, but its sooo good how can you not eat it all year round?!

  2. Posted on: 9-14-2011


    So let me ask you, because I’m totally clueless. I’ve never seen polenta in my supermarket (except in pre-cooked…logs, for lack of a better word). Is it the same as regular cornmeal? I really really want to make this and am in fact going to pin it so I don’t forget where I found the recipe!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Yes, Jen. It is the same as cornmeal!! I have never bought the pre made log one before. Im sure that is good for cutting down time if you plan to fry it. Let me know how you like this!!

  3. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    This is the ultimate comfort food! The addition of the mushrooms really does amp up the polenta. I would eat this by itself for lunch-yum!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thanks Tina. Comfort food at its finest. I totally eat this as a meal itself.

  4. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    Love the presentation on this! Polenta topped with truffled mushrooms sounds divine :)!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thanks Amy! It tastes as good as it sounds!

  5. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    What a lovely way to serve polenta! I haven’t made any in eons, but I now have a huge craving for it and mushrooms! YUM!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thanks Liz! Hopefully I have inspired you to break out the polenta and cook it once again!!

  6. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    The creamy polenta sounds delicious with these mushrooms! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I’ve added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thank you!!! Glad we were able to find each others blogs!!

  7. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    I love, love, love polenta with mushrooms. Recently, I have been making it with garlicky mushrooms a’la Mark Bittman, but truffled mushrooms would be a great althernative!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Yum, polenta with garlicky mushrooms sounds awesome, but next time you should totally try this. Its amazing.

  8. Posted on: 9-14-2011

    For dinner tonight! Thank you.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Hahah thanks Sylvie! Let me know if you tried it how you enjoyed it!

  9. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Wow – I have a crush on this recipe! This is stunning! I love polenta and mushrooms – what a GREAT combination! Your pictures are absolutely stunning – thanks for sharing1

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thanks Ann! Serious crush right?? I mean how could you not love it?!

  10. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Okay, I have to catch up with this polenta club. It sounds delicious but I can’t taste it! I already adore truffled mushroom part, so all I need to know is how polenta tastes like… I like how you added in a jar. Very cute idea!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Nami you should totally try it! Polenta is soo good!!

  11. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    I am so glad you recreated this dish!!! Need to make this soon, seriously soon. Just need the mushrooms… It looks amazing, just like it did at the restaurant!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Yes, you need to make this AND we need to go back and have the original!!!

  12. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Mmmmmm polentaaaaaa! It reminds me of my childhood in Milan… where we eat it with cassoela (a pork stew with cabbage… quite heavy but delicious). This is definitely a much lighter version. And I love mushrooms!!! Great recipe Beth! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thanks Manu!! Cassoela sounds amazing but a little too heavy in this weather! Maybe when it gets cooler outside.

  13. Posted on: 9-21-2011

    I have a crush on polenta too! This looks so good served in the jar! Topped with truffled mushrooms? Yes please 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-21-2011

      If you crush on polenta then you should sooooo make this!!! You will love it!

  14. Posted on: 9-27-2011

    Gosh, what an elegant recipe! This looks so beautiful (and so delicious). I also love (love!) polenta. I also love your photos and how you presented this dish. Overall, everything looks so fabulous.

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