Quick Polenta with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Poached Eggs
This quick, savory brunch dish also works as a BLD meal.
- 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
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.