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Italian cuisine with Jolanta – Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Balsamic Mushrooms ( and vegetable stock)


Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 onion, finely sliced

1 leek, white part only, finely sliced

1 celery stick, finely sliced

1 carrot, finely sliced

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/2 ts black peppercorns, lightly crushed




  • Heat the oil and butter in a large stock pot
  • Add the vegetables and sweat down until just starting to colour – around 10 minutes
  • Now top up with cold water until the vegetables are just covered by a few centimetres. Bring to the boil then, using a ladle, skim away any scum which rises to the top
  • Turn down to a simmer then add the bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns. Leave to gently simmer for 1/2 hour
  • The stock will keep for 3–5 days in the fridge or will freeze for up to 6 months






Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Balsamic Mushrooms

Serves 6

250 gr polenta

1l vegetable stock

80 gr parmesan cheese

80 gr butter

300 gr button mushrooms

fresh thyme

2 red onions

120 ml balsamic vinegar

vegetable oil for frying



freshly ground black pepper



  • Bring the vegetable stock to the boil. Whisk in the polenta and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often to break up any lumps. If the polenta becomes too thick and starts sticking, add a little more stock or water
  • Grate the cheese and set it to a side
  • Meanwhile, clean and quarter mushrooms. Finely slice onions
  • Fry onion and mushrooms in some vegetable oil. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of sugar and deglaze pan with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to reduce for approx. 3 – 4 min
  • When polenta is ready add the cheese and butter and continue stirring until melted. Taste for seasoning and serve the polenta with the balsamic mushrooms and sauce on the top 



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