• (Michael Bonacini's Christmas at the Farm)

Melty cheese and smooth polenta combine beautifully with the earthy mushrooms. 






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (11 votes)

This is good served with tomato-braised veal roulade


Sautéed mushrooms

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 eschalots (French shallots), peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (minced)
  • 4 cups assorted wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) butter


Polenta gratin

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced taleggio cheese
  • Butter, for the baking dish
  • 1½ tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: at least 30 minutes

1. For the sautéed mushrooms, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.Add eschalot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly soft.Add butter and cook for another 2 minutes.

2. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Reserve.

3. For the polenta, bring water and chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and butter and stir. Add polenta and whisk vigorously. Reduce heat to medium-low, add parmesan cheese and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.Once nicely thickened, remove from heat.

4. Grease 8” x 8” (20 cm x 20 cm) baking dish with butter. Transfer polenta to baking dish and spread evenly. Try to make sure there are no air bubbles. Cool in refrigerator until completely set, about 30 minutes.

5. Pre-heat oven to 190°C (375°F).

6. Remove polenta from baking dish and cut into even squares. Arrange polenta portions in an ovenproof frying pan (skillet). Top with sautéed mushrooms and sliced taleggio. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

7. Once cheese is bubbly and edges of polenta are golden, remove from oven. Serve portions of hot polenta with mushrooms. Garnish with parsley.