I hadn't been doing much interesting cooking over the last couple of days because I wasn't feeling well, but I found myself with more energy this evening and with more desire to make a meal. While I have suggested two possible methods of cooking the portobellas, I found a grill pan to work much better in the hot weather, as firing up the oven obviously creates a lot of heat in the kitchen. These mushrooms are filling, and need little else to fill you up. I served them with roasted asparagus spears, but sauteed spinach or a cool salad would also be delicious.
For the polenta:
-2 1/4 c water
-3/4 corn grits or polenta
-7 or 8 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
-2 tbsp pinenuts, toasted
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-5 or 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped or torn
-1/2 tbsp olive oil
-salt, to taste
For the portobellas:
-4 portobella mushrooms, stems removed
-1 tsbp olive oil
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-salt, to taste
1. While the water is coming to a boil (remember to salt the water liberally NOW, or it will be impossible to salt the corn grits later on), remove any dirt from the mushrooms by wiping with a damp cloth. Whisk together 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and brush the mixture onto both sides of the mushrooms, adding salt to taste.
2. Drop the sundried tomatoes into the boiling water for about a minute so they plump up. If your tomatoes are packed in oil, you can skip this step. Fish the tomatoes out of the water and set them aside to cool. Once they can be handled, chop them.
3. Slowly pour the corn grits into the boiling water, whisking constantly. Once the mixture begins to thicken and bubble, lower the heat to a simmer. Keep an eye on this and make sure to stir it frequently. It will probably take about five minutes to cook.
4. At this point, you can begin to cook the portobellas. I prepared mine on an indoor grill pan, grilling about five minutes on each side. You could also place them under your oven's broiler for the same amount of time.
5. Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic, sundried tomato, and pinenuts until fragrant, about two minutes. Add in the basil at the last minute. Combine this with the polenta, and cover to keep warm.
6. Spoon the polenta mixture into (or onto, depending on the shape of your mushrooms, really!) the portobellas, and garnish with more fresh basil, if you'd like.