Healthy Eats: 4/11

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Polenta and Wild Mushroom Crostini with Balsamic Reduction

A gluten-free alternative to a traditional bread crostini. The mushrooms are packed with flavor, meaty texture, and nutrients.

Balsamic reduction can be used in plating to add both color and flavor to a dish.

Polenta Crostini:

2 1/2 cups light vegetable stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup polenta

2 Tbs medium-high heat oil

2 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar

salt, to taste

1/4 cup minced parsley

Balsamic Reduction:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

Wild Mushroom Spread:

1 oz dried porcini mushroom

2 Tbs medium-high heat oil

8 oz crimini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, sliced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed

2 Tbs sherry

1 Tbs tamari

1 Tbs parsley, finely chopped, plus extra sprigs for

garnish

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

Polenta Crostini:

1. Line a 1/4 sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Turn the heat down and add the garlic, polenta, and oil. Cook, stirring

often until the polenta is soft, about 20 minutes. Add the umeboshi plum vinegar and season with salt to taste. Turn off the

heat, stir in the fresh parsley, and pour immediately into the prepared sheet pan, pressing down with an offset spatula to

make sure it has a smooth surface.

3. Let cool slightly and then transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least 1 hour. In the meantime, prepare the balsamic

reduction and wild mushroom spread.

4. When the polenta has set, preheat the broiler. Cut polenta into desired shapes and place on a baking sheet. Broil 4-6 inches

from the heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Balsamic Reduction:

1 Add the balsamic vinegar to a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil and let the liquid reduce until it becomes about 1/4

cup and looks like a glaze but isn't too thick. It will thicken as it cools. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Wild Mushroom Spread:

1. Soak the porcini in 1/2 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth and reserve the soaking liquid.

2. Rinse the porcini mushrooms and chop. Set aside.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, porcini, crimini mushrooms, garlic, and thyme leaves. Cook, stirring

often, until the mushrooms start to release liquid, 3-5 minutes.

4. Add the sherry, the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and tamari. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring

constantly, until the liquid is reduced and becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Taste and season

with salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside.

5. To serve, spoon some of the wild mushroom spread on the polenta crostini and garnish with parsley and balsamic

reduction.

Servings: 12