Serious Eats: Recipes

Wild Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta

The following recipe is from the July 22 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

One might expect that a New Orleans-based chef like Emeril Lagasse is a big meat eater, but one of the most surprising things about his new book Farm to Fork is that the recipes are almost entirely vegetarian. There are few game and seafood recipes mixed in, but the bulk of the book is devoted to meat-free eating, vegetable dishes so satisfying you barely realize you're eating a vegetarian meal.

This Wild Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta struck me immediately as a must-make due to it's striking similarity to one of my all time favorite vegetarian meals: the wild mushrooms served over creamy polenta from Al Di La in Brooklyn. The mushrooms are simmered with a mix of aromatics and herbs, tomatoes both diced and in paste form, and a stock of your choice—mushroom or vegetable or a veal or chicken stock. The mushrooms braise and release their earthy flavors making the sauce deep and rich, and an ideal topping for some of the creamiest polenta around.

The polenta recipe is for all of you out there who wonder why the polenta that you make at home is never quite as good as the polenta served in restaurants. There are a few secrets in there, all involving plenty of delicious dairy. Mascarpone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter, and whole milk make sure that this polenta is wonderfully creamy and rich with cheesy flavor.

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