Wow! If this tastes as good as it looks then I'll be in heaven!
Serves 2 as a main with extra polenta left over, or 4 as a starter.
7 cups of water
1 bunch of broccoli = approximately 2 cups chopped into chunks (approximately 1 inch cubes or there about). Do not use frozen broccoli, as it will be too wet.
2 cups of cornmeal
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/4 cup non dairy UNSWEETENED milk
1 tablespoon non dairy butter / vegan margarine
1/4 grated / shredded non dairy cheese, preferably Parmesan style
1 pound oyster mushrooms
3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra for oiling the baking dish and more to generously oil a pan for frying
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
A pinch of salt and extra for seasoning to taste
Prepare a 8 x 8 baking dish / pan oiling the bottom and sides generously. Set aside.
Boil broccoli in 7 cups of water, until JUST tender, NOT mushy. Remove from pot, and set aside, reserving the water it has been boiled in.
Bring broccoli water to boil and crumble in vegetable bouillon cubes, stir until completely dissolved. Add 1/4 cup non dairy milk.
Whisk in 2 cups of cornmeal and reduce heat to medium /low. As the cornmeal cooks it will thicken and will become molten like. Whisk CONSTANTLY to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the cornmeal begins to pull away from the sides of the pot.
Turn off heat and add the cooked broccoli, the non dairy butter and the non dairy cheese. Stir and fold all together until well combined. Do not allow it to cool down before the next step.
Spread the mixture evenly inside the prepared baking dish / pan. Leave aside for one hour to set-up. As it cools it will stiffen. This is Polenta.
Prepare the mushrooms to be grilled, by separating the clumps, keeping them attached at the stem. Put into a bowl.
Prepare a mixture of 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Give it a quick whisk together. Pour over the mushrooms and toss together immediately.
Remove the polenta from the baking dish and slice into squares, sticks or triangles.
Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of a fry pan. Have your pan hot but not smoking. It is best to be on medium/high heat but you will need to adjust if it gets too hot. (If you have a cast iron pan, these are always best). Add the polenta slices to the pan, a few at a time, (don’t crowd the pan). Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Once all polenta slices are fried, set aside and keep them warm.
Place the chunks of seasoned mushrooms on a hot grill and allow to thoroughly cook. They will wilt considerably and will get a bit crispy on the edges. This is what you want, but not burnt. Keep and eye on them and turn as needed.
Plate your meal by placing a few slices of polenta in the centre of the plate and topping with some of the grilled mushrooms.
NOTE: A tomato sauce is also nice over the polenta, with or without the grilled mushrooms. I always grill other vegetables while I am grilling the mushrooms, such as zucchini slices and asparagus, and add this to the side. I just make extra lemon/ oil seasoning and use it for all of the vegetables. I find this is a very satisfying meal. I hope that you do too.