Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Do you ever feel fancy pants? Sometimes I do. Like if I go to the grocery store wearing something besides scrubs. If I rent a foreign film or wear shoes out other than boots or garden clogs. Brandishing a statement necklace (I have but one and you can bet I brandish it). Sometimes classy food can make me feel pretty snooty too.  Today's recipe is one classy dish indeed and definitely raised the stylish-food bar in our home. If you're in the need to impress guests or just want to sophisticate your palate (mine is très sophistiqué...okay, maybe not), then this is the perfect dinner for you. Honestly though, it's pretty good on a Friday night in yoga pants too. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Sweet sage cashew cream blends with silky polenta as a fluffy bed for perfectly caramelized balsamic onions and portobello mushrooms.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos 

Serves 3

  • Onions & Portobellos:
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large portobello cap, halved and sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Cashew Cream:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 3 fresh sage leaves (1 Tbsp. chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • pinch of salt
  • Polenta:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry polenta
  • pinch of salt

Notes: Careful not to let the onions burn while caramelizing. Low heat is required, don't try to rush it. It should take about 30-40 minutes. 

Begin by soaking the 1 cup of cashews in fresh water (enough to cover) in a medium bowl.

To cook the onion and mushroom, melt the butter in a large frying pan or cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute for about 10 minutes, then add the portobello. Saute for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the onions are significantly shrunken and the onions have caramelized to a dark brown. Brown bits will accumulate on the bottom of the pan (this is called "fond"), but when the pan is deglazed it will come right off. However, if think it be starting to burn remove the pan from heat. Caramelizing takes a long time, so don't rush it. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

When they appear caramelized, stir in a pinch of salt and black pepper. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, scraping up the fond. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a blender. Add in the remaining cashew cream ingredients. Blend on high until very smooth and set aside.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

In a large saucepan, bring the water for the polenta to a boil over high heat. Add in the polenta while stirring as well as a pinch of salt. Continue to stir very often until smooth and all the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. 

Add the cashew cream to the polenta and stir well to incorporate until clump-free. 

Serve hot as a bed of polenta, topped with the caramelized onions and portobellos.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Garnish with fresh sage. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

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German Word of The Day: Mushroom --> Pilz (pronounced: pills)

Good Deed of The Day: Today, I encourage you to simply wish yourself well, wish yourself happiness, and wish yourself free from suffering. That 's what I learned in my meditation today!

[yumprint-recipe id='114']

Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

I never had polenta until a few years ago. My mom hated the yellow stuff so we never had it. After tasting it for the first time, I remember being in complete shock at the notion that there are people in this world who are going around not liking polenta. It's craziness! Who doesn't like polenta? If you don't like it, I must know why. It's confounding, so please tell me. I'm dying to know. 

If you, for some obscure reason have had an aversion to poletna in the past but want to try it again (I do this with root beer floats every six years or so...still hate 'em), this is the perfect dish. This poletna is rich with vegan cheese and topped with absolutely scrumptious, roasted vegetables. I don't know if the polenta or the vegetables star here. I couldn't quit snatching up the roasted veggies while waiting for the poletna to do it's thing. They're sweet, somewhat caramelized, and pair perfectly with the cheesy polenta. 

This is one of my ultimate polenta dishes! It's so good, it's going to be one of the vegan/vegetarian options at Todd's sister's wedding! Feelin' pretty darn fancy pants about it...in case you hadn't noticed. 

Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables  

Serves 9

  • Vegetables:
  • 2 small zucchinis, diced
  • 3 small yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • drizzle of olive oil 
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • Polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone-ground polenta, dry
  • 2 cups vegan cheese, shredded 
  • 1/4 cup large flaked nutritional yeast
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Dice the vegetables and scatter them on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give them a good shake and a stir. Roast at 450 F for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. When done, remove and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot with the 4 cups of water to a boil. Give it a sprinkle of salt. Once boiling, slowly add the polenta while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Then, turn to low heat and stir frequently for about 25 minutes to thicken. Stir in the cheese and nutritional yeast until melted and well combined. Remove from heat.

Coat a 9x9 inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the polenta and smooth over the top. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F. 

Once done baking, add the roasted vegetables on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 350 F. 

Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper, and allow to rest for 5 minutes being serving. Serve hot. 

Scrumptious!

My little Bobbledore is now seven years and two days old. Time flies when you have such a great companion! 

German Word of The Day: Polenta --> Maisbrei (pronounced: mice-brye) *EDIT* A German reader informed me that they pretty much use the word Polenta as well! So happy to know the real word usage...it's just polenta peeps. Don't be going around saying maisbrei, okay? 

Good Deed of The Day: Take 5 seconds to sign this petition to outlaw animal crush videos. This is absolutely horrific, monstrous, and one of the cruelest things imaginable. Please sign it.