Grana Padano Polenta with Crispy Mushrooms


For the polenta

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup polenta
4 ounces Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

2 teaspoons salt


For the mushrooms

½ cup olive oil, divided
 1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced or halved

4 sprigs thyme
2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons finely diced chives, optional


To prepare polenta, in a medium saucepan, bring 4 ½ cups water to a boil. Add butter and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover until polenta is tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk in grana padano; add salt.


To prepare mushrooms, heat half the oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add half the thyme, mushrooms and salt; cook, turning mushrooms occasionally, until crispy, 8-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil, mushrooms, thyme and salt.


To serve, spoon polenta into shallow bowls. Top with mushrooms and garnish with chives and additional cheese, if desired.


Makes 4 servings