RECIPE

Quick Polenta with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Poached Eggs

This quick, savory brunch dish also works as a BLD meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 pound mixed mushrooms, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • 1 bundle asparagus (3/4 pound), trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 cloves garllc, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • White vinegar, for cooking eggs
  • 4 eggs

Preparation

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus, leek, thyme and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the leek softens, about 10 minutes. Add the sherry and stir until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.

While the mushrooms and vegetables cook, bring the stock and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, then gradually whisk in the polenta. Stir until the polenta thickens, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, butter and nutmeg; season. Cover and turn off the heat. (If the polenta gets too thick as it rests, gradually stir in more hot water.)

In a large saucepan, bring 2-3 inches of water and a splash of white vinegar to a simmer over medium-low. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl or ramekin. Whisk the water in circles, then add the egg. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Poach about 3 minutes, then turn the eggs with a slotted spoon. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 30 seconds more. Transfer the eggs to a plate.

Divide the polenta among bowls. Make a well, then fill with the mushroom mixture. Top each with a poached egg.

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