The first time I had polenta was when I was nine and on an Italian ship sailing from Australia to Genoa. I loved all sorts of hot cereals, and thought polenta was the same thing, so insisted they serve it to me for breakfast, with caramel. Much later (although still remembering with fondness the sugared polenta), I graduated to one of the greatest dishes in the world, polenta with mascarpone covered with freshly grated mounds of white truffles and lashings of ground black pepper.
For this dish, I put the cold mascarpone under the hot polenta, creating a surprise as the cream melts slowly out from under the polenta, as well as a contrast in temperatures.
For a faster and easier version (30 minutes to prepare), omit the cèpe salad on top of the cooked mushrooms and use just the white domestic and portobello field mushrooms to sauce the polenta.
Cook the polenta as directed in the recipe, and keep it warm in the top of a double boiler until needed. Stir in more water if it gets too thick. Mix in
Mix the herbs with the mascarpone and keep chilled.
Put the vinegar, parsley, and hazelnut oil in a mixing bowl. Add the warm cèpe slices and mix gently together. Season.
Put the herb cream in the center of each plate, and spoon the polenta over the cream. Then spoon the mushroom sauce over the cream, and place the warm cèpe salad on top of the mushroom sauce.
I love polenta with fresh young white sweet corn kernels off the cob (one-third the quantity of the cooked polenta), which are put in the polenta for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Then I stir in
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