Spring Dish: Wet Polenta with Mushrooms and Ramps

Polenta is one of my favorite foods. It’s so simple. It’s basically Italian grits. My ex-boyfriend was southern and so when I would make Polenta with Osso Bucco I would tell him it was Polenta (he thought he hated grits) to ensure that he ate dinner. Technically that wasn’t a lie. I was just omitting the tiny detail that Polenta and Grits are really the same thing ;).

I got the idea for this recipe somewhere online but I can’t for the life of me find it now. I picked up a bunch of fancy mushrooms and ramps at Whole Foods this weekend and I wanted to be sure to cook them off stat. I’ve heard of ramps (aka wild, garlicky leeks) before but they have a really tiny window of seasonality when you can buy them. After cooking these up I see what all the fuss is about. They’re yummy! I doubted that they would taste garlicky but they really do. It’s a sweet garlic like roasted garlic I guess.

ramps with polenta and mushrooms

Wet Polenta (use a 4:1 ratio, 4 cups of water per every cup of dry polenta used)
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup Milk
1 cup medium-grind stone-ground cornmeal, highest quality possible
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 sprigs of thyme (steeped in liquid)

Mushrooms & Ramps
Assorted mushrooms (I used maitake, oyster and morels) sliced
1 bunch of ramps (green and white parts separated)
1 knob of Butter
1 slight glug of EVOO
Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring the water,thyme and milk to a boil. When the liquid comes to a boil, remove the thyme,  pour in the dry polenta and lower the heat to medium . Cook for 30-40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add parmesan in at the end if you like. The polenta thickens up quite a bit as it cools. So stop cooking when the grains are cooked but the polenta is still “wet”.

In another pan add EVOO and a little butter. Heat to medium, sear and saute off the mushrooms. Move the mushrooms to the side and add the ramps. Cook the white bits a little longer than the green. Make sure to add salt and pepper to the mushrooms and ramps. Pour the polenta into a bowl and layer the mushrooms and ramps on top!

One Response to “Spring Dish: Wet Polenta with Mushrooms and Ramps”
  1. Bex says:

    great post!

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