A and I both have a couple of days off work (hooray!). So to celebrate, we thought we’d make an indulgent, delicious dish that just happens to be gluten free and vegan. It takes a little time to make, as the polenta does need to be baked and cooled before the topping goes on, the second baking is what turns it into a crispy edged base that can be sliced and picked up to eat. But it’s really very easy! And the waiting time… well it would be rude not to have a glass of wine…
makes 4 servings
For the polenta
175 g polenta, the quick cook sort
300 ml soy milk
300 ml cold water
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp stock powder
pinch of salt
For the mushrooms
400 g mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
5 g basil, shredded (1 large sprig)
pinch of salt
splash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp oil for the baking dish.
4 tbsp grated vegan cheese (optional), we used this one
Preheat the oven to fan 180 c.
Oil a 20 cm x 20 cm baking dish, I used a silicon one.
Put all of the polenta ingredients in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Whisk to combine. Cook, stirring infrequently at first, and then as the mixture gets hotter graduate to stirring constantly. It should take about 10 minutes to reach a good, thick (but still pourable), consistency. I find that starting the mixture off from cold means it’s much less likely to get lumpy, and it takes less stirring too.
Pour the polenta mixture into the oiled baking dish, and bake for around twenty minutes. This is to help the bottom to brown nicely, and start to crisp. Cool for ten minutes to set.
While the polenta is baking, make the mushroom topping. Heat the oil in a pan, and saute the mushrooms, with the dried herbs, for 7 – 10 minutes until the liquid has run out, and then reduced. Add the salt, balsamic vinegar and basil.
Top the cooled polenta with the mushrooms, sprinkle on the vegan cheese (if using), bake at fan 180 c for 20 minutes until heated through. Cut into wedges, and serve.