Polenta with green beans and mushrooms

by | Jun 23, 2009 | Food | 1 comment

There is a reason I don’t usually take photos of the good dinners I make. Tasty dinners are often kind of ugly, plus the lighting at night is just awful and it makes the food look even uglier. But, knowing that, I took a photo of this anyway, and I’m telling you about it, because it was a completely delicious vegetarian dinner (not at all vegan, though, since the butter and heavy cream — though not an outrageous amount — helped to make it so yummy). But look at it. Ech. But ohhh it was good.

I got the recipe from the June issue of Bon Appetit. You’ll probably see a few more recipes from there here soon; it’s a pretty good issue. You can click the link to get the original recipe, or read my revised one below (mainly, I leave out leeks because I have no tolerance for leek de-dirting) (also, I cut down a few steps that seemed superfluous and time-wasting). I will warn you that this is one of those recipes that uses six pots, fourteen pans, two bowls, twelve colanders, and a chafing dish.



  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups polenta
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white vermouth (I had about 1/2 cup left, which I mixed with water to make 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (such as crimini, small portobello, and shiitake), stemmed, caps cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley or cilantro, divided
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme


  • Blanch green beans 1 minute in boiling water. Add peas and cook until both beans and peas are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set beans and peas aside.
  • Bring milk and broth to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low. Cook until polenta is very thick, whisking almost constantly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, combine green onions and vermouth in medium saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in butter, allowing each addition to melt before adding next. Add cream and whisk over very low heat to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until almost tender, 5 minutes. Stir in onions, 1 tablespoon parsley and cilantro, and thyme. Sauté until mushrooms are very tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and peas, tossing to coat.
  • Rewarm polenta and spoon into large shallow bowl. Top with green bean mixture and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley or cilantro. Rewarm leeks over low heat, whisking constantly; spoon evenly over polenta.

1 Comment

  1. Clog

    Good heavens…..I would look at this recipe and immediately dismiss it as too time consuming. By the way, remember those scissors you gave me for shredding? They are fantastic for cutting herbs…I think they actually sell them for that too.


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