Vegan Delights: Grilled Polenta and Bunapi Mushrooms

While we are on the subject of open-faced sandwiches, here is a variation you get when you cross Northern Italian cuisine (grilled polenta) with Japanese mycology (Bunapi Shimeji) and Spanish wine (Gine Priorat rose).  The flavors are rich and delicious.

The technique is much simpler than it sounds.  Here are the steps:

  • make fine julienne or shred a zucchine (I used yellow, green works, too)
  • salt it and let drain for 20-30 minutes
  • saute in olive oil a finely-diced shallot until tender
  • add zucchine and cook until the squash is slightly crisp and much reduced in volume; this may take 15 minutes or more
  • take a bunch of Bunapi (White Beech mushrooms) and trim off the base
  • saute Bunapi until browned and tender; add 3 Tbs. of stock, wine or water (I used corn water) and boil it off; set mushrooms aside
  • boil water or stock, add a little olive oil, then polenta and cook until thick
  • pour polenta into a pan so that it will be 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick; smooth the top
  • cool polenta to room temperature, coat the top lightly with olive oil
  • heat a grill to very hot; cut polenta into squares, then in half horizontally, and grill until well-marked and crisp on both sides (can take 15-20 minutes)
  • assemble the dish: top each square with a little of the reheated zucchini-shallot mixture, then with the cooked mushrooms
  • pour a glass of rose or red wine
  • eat and enjoy; then take some pix and share them
You’ll find the full sequence in this web album (if you can use Flash).
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