This weather has definitely made me feel like cooking soups and stews, casseroles and cookies. I had a log of prepared polenta in the fridge and got online to find a new recipe to try. I came across this gratin at foodandwine.com. I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth, used just cremini mushrooms and used swiss cheese instead of the Gruyère because I already had some in the fridge. Comfort food at its finest!
Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
1 large shallot, minced
8 oz prewashed baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon thyme
pinch of nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream
One 18 oz log of prepare polenta, cut into 1/4" slices
3 ounces swiss cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the shallot and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, thyme and nutmeg and cook over high heat until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the spinach evenly in a 2-quart baking dish
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour over moderately high heat.
Add the stock and cream and whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour over the spinach. Arrange the polenta slices on top of the spinach in overlapping concentric circles, pressing to submerge the polenta slightly.
Sprinkle the swiss cheese on the polenta, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Uncover the polenta and broil 6 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.