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Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for your dad, grandfather, or a father figure in your life, we have something special just for you. Save 15% off selected items until 6/16/24. Use code DAD. ⮞

Creamy Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Leeks and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes

Image of Creamy Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Leeks and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
This dish is comfort food— a hearty dish meant to stick to your ribs and keep you warm on cold winter days. Although the recipe calls for scratch-made chicken stock, you can also make this dish using a good-quality chicken bone broth that does not contain more than three main ingredients: filtered water, bones and carrots. Butcher’s Chicken Bone Broth is my go-to brand in a time crunch. What you want to avoid is a watery-tasting stock that has preservatives, additives, artificial flavors, a “tinny” taste from a metal can, onions, garlic, or any type of vinegar, which alters the taste in the finished dish. Keep it simple… and as unprocessed as possible.

Primarily use trumpet mushrooms, which lend a firm, meaty texture with a subtle nutty flavor. It’s crucial to slice the mushrooms in 1/3 -inch thickness (or ¼-inch), so they cook around the same time as the julienned leeks. If the leeks start to brown before the mushrooms, simply remove the leeks, and continue roasting the mushrooms until you have a nice caramelization. Add in different types of wild mushrooms to impart complexity —chanterelles, button, and baby Bella make great additions. But…the culinary technique that propels this dish above others in this food genre is surrounding the sliced mushrooms with oil-tossed, seasoned julienned leeks in a “nest” fashion. As the dish roasts, the olive oil and released mushroom juices take on the flavor of the caramelizing leeks—a sweet, subtle oniony flavor which is the perfect complementary taste to enhance thyme-dusted mushrooms. Do not leave out the halved grape tomatoes—they add a nice pop of color and their subtle acidity imparts brightness to the dish!

Creamy Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Leeks and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
Serves: 2 as a main; 4 as a side

Ingredients
Image of Ingredients
For the chicken stock:
1 chicken carcass
8 cups filtered water
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds

Preparation
Place all ingredients into a medium pot and heat on high till boiling. Turn down heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, or until broth has reduced to 4 cups. Remove from heat and strain through a wire mesh, throwing out carrots and bones. Return stock to pot, cover and set aside.

For the polenta:
3 cups good-quality chicken stock (substitute with Butcher's chicken bone broth)
1 cup 2% milk
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 4-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
1 cup Melissa’s ready-to-eat Polenta

Preparation
Image of cream
Place stock, milk, cream, salt and fresh rosemary sprig into medium-sized, enameled Dutch oven, and heat on medium heat till boiling. Whisk in polenta, reduce heat to low, and stir with a whisk until creamy and thick—about 15-20 minutes. Remove rosemary and toss, take off heat and cover.

For the Roasted Wild Mushrooms and Leeks:
1 leek, trimmed, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and rinsed
13 oz. assorted wild mushrooms (trumpet, chanterelle, beech, maitake, baby bella, etc.)
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 yellow and red heirloom organic grape tomatoes, cut in half

Preparation
Image of cut leeks
Cut mushrooms into 1/3 to 1/4-inch slices and set aside. Place leeks, cut side down on a cutting board, slice lengthwise into ¼-inch matchsticks, and set aside.
Image of veggies arranged in baking tray
Spread leeks on a rimmed baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and dust with salt. Toss to coat and spread around the perimeter of the toaster oven baking sheet to make a large square. Place mushroom and thyme in center of baking sheet in a single layer, and drizzle with remaining oil, toss, then dust with a pinch of salt. Place in preheated oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until leeks are tender and slightly crispy, and mushrooms are browned. Remove from heat.
Image of Creamy Rosemary Polenta with Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Leeks and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
Plating: Spread half of cooked polenta onto a rimmed plate and swirl in a circle with the back of a large metal spoon. Top with roasted mushrooms in center and crispy leeks over top and on outer edge of mushrooms. Dot tomato halves over mushrooms, then spoon melted Aleppo butter sauce along perimeter of polenta and serve immediately.

For the Melted Butter and Aleppo Chili Sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes

Preparation
Place butter and chili into a small container and heat in microwave on high until butter has melted, about 10 seconds. Strain out chili flakes and set aside.
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