Soft Polenta in a Jar

For a richer flavor, chef Uri Navon of Machneyuda restaurant cooks his polenta in heavy cream instead of in water.

Soft Polenta in a Jar

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, February 2012

Ingredients

For the Mushroom Ragout

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup assorted mushrooms, such as button, portabella, oyster, or shiitake, torn by hand
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Polenta

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons instant polenta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the Asparagus

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 thin asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

For Serving

  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Truffle oil, for drizzling

Directions

  1. Make the mushroom ragout: Heat butter in a small heavy-bottomed skillet. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Meanwhile, make the polenta: Bring milk and heavy cream to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high-heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in polenta; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. If mixture seems too thick, thin out with a little more milk or water. Whisk in butter and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt; cover and set aside.

  3. Make the asparagus: Bring a large pot of water to a boil; generously salt water and return to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare and ice-water bath. Add asparagus to boiling water and cook until tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to ice-water bath. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

  4. To serve, place 2 to 3 tablespoons polenta in each of four 1-cup jars with lids. Add 1 tablespoon mushroom ragout to each jar. Top with 3 to 4 asparagus pieces and 2 to 3 Parmesan shavings each. Drizzle each jar with truffle oil; cover jars and serve.

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