The simplest food can be savored in the most stunning ways.
This little recipe looks like a showstopper but is actually a simple weekday meal. Taking an extra second to plate the food in an unexpected way makes all the difference.
There is nothing crazy fancy going on here. Just a little ordinary polenta, some roasted beets and a quick mushroom and swiss chard sauté. The magic happens in the plating.
This recipe seems long, but keep in mind most of cook time comes from roasting the beets. Additionally my polenta took 30 minutes to cook to the desired thickness, but this doesn't require lots of hand on prep.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed putting it together. It really worth the extra effort!
Polenta with Beets, Chard and Mushrooms in a Cabernet Broth
Cook Time: 40 Mins
For the Polenta
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups Yellow Corn Meal
For the Beets
- 8-12 Beets, small to medium size, trimmed and washed
- Olive Oil
- 4-5 stalks of Swiss Chard, de-stemmed and chopped
- 8 oz. Mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- 1/2 White Onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth
- 1/8 cup Cabernet wine or other, red wine
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Drizzle the beets lightly with olive oil and wrap them in aluminum foil.
Place them on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 45-60 mins, or until they pierce easily with a fork.
Once tender, remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool.
Begin preparing the Polenta by bringing 6 cups of salted water to boil.
Slowly whisk in the corn meal, then reduce the heat to medium.
While stirring occasionally, allow to simmer about 30 minutes or until very thick. Immediately pour the polenta into a shallow baking dish or jelly roll pan. Smooth out and allow to cool so that the polenta gets very firm.
Finally, in a large skillet heat a drizzle of olive oil.
Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic with a pinch of salt.
Saute until the onions and mushrooms soften, then add the wine to loosen the pan drippings.
Add the chard and toss.
Allow to simmer a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the chard has wilted and turned bright green.
Adjust salt to taste.
Divide the mixture and broth between bowls.
Using a round 3-4 in round cookie cutter or a glass, cut rounds from the pan of polenta. Carefully lift the rounds with a spatula and arrange them slightly submerged in each bowl of broth.
Slide the skins off of the cooled beets and carefully cut off the top of the beet to make a nice flat surface that will keep the beet from rolling.
With the flat side down, make thin vertical cuts into the top of the beet, as pictured above without going all the way to the bottom.
Once all the slices are complete slightly squeeze the beet to fan out the slices.
Place one beet on top of each polenta round.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh chive sprigs or herbs of your choice.