IT'S NOT ASIAN! Yup, sometimes I cook and it doesn't involve rice or noodles. It's strange and peculiar.
So polenta. Polenta is a thing I love, because it's sloppy like baby food and it's actually a requirement to cook it with enough butter and cheese so that it actually has some flavour. Alternatively, you can make an incredibly flavoursome topping (like lamb ragu...), so flavoursome that you need to cut a bit of the richness with the bland polenta itself. Since there's no lamb happening in this house this week - and maybe we should leave that for when the chill sets in - butter and cheese was the way forward.
I chose these vegetables for their combination of sweetness from the corn and tomatoes, with a little bitterness, from the cavolo nero. I bumped up the flavours a touch to really bring them out.
Corn, Mushroom & Feta with Polenta
450gr vegetable stock (I used half a Knorr stock pot. They're actually pretty good.)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
50ml white wine
1 ear of fresh corn
3 large chestnut mushrooms, chopped into 6
5 large oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 stalks of cavolo nero, stems removed and shredded
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt
A knob of butter
A handful of parsley, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Bring the stock to the boil and whisk in the polenta. Bring to a low simmer and stir every few minutes, scraping the bottom. Cook for 12 minutes - it should be a little runny. Stir in the butter and put the lid on, and leave while you prepare the rest.
Heat the olive in a frying pan on a medium heat, and add the garlic. Turn onto low and using a knife, cut the corn kernels directly into the pan carefully. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring every so often. Turn to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook for a minute or so, stirring, then add the white wine. Simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, then add the cavolo nero and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, the sugar, the salt and pepper. Place the lid on and cook on a low heat for 5 more minutes, stirring intermittently. Add the parsley, take off the heat and leave the lid on.
Dish out the polenta, then add the corn mixture on top. Garnish with crumbled feta.
(Got leftover ears of corn? There's a recipe for Miso-Buttered Corn in Chinatown Kitchen!)