Sautéed Mushrooms with Thyme on Crispy Polenta Rounds


Full of flavor, mushrooms make a surprisingly filling dish. Crispy polenta slices provide satisfying crunch and “chew” but these mushrooms can also be served over mashed potatoes, gluten-free toast or grilled tofu, if soy is tolerated. For meat-lovers, add cooked bacon bits.

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large shallot or small yellow onion, peeled and minced
1½ pounds mushrooms (button, cremini, shitake or a mixture), cleaned and cut in ¼-inch slices
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine
-Dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, more for garnish
1 (18-ounce) package ready-made gluten-free polenta, cut in ½-inch slices, or 1 recipe Polenta Rounds(above)
-Shaved Parmesan or grated dairy-free Parmesan cheese alternative, for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté the shallot until soft, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add mushrooms and garlic. Add salt, pepper and thyme and cook until mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes.

2. Continue cooking until mushroom juices are nearly gone. Add sherry and hot sauce and cook liquid down until the skillet is almost dry. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and ¼ cup parsley. Set aside and keep warm while preparing polenta slices.

3. In a separate 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Working in batches, fry polenta slices in oil until crisp and lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet or ovenproof platter and place in the oven to stay warm and get crispier, while frying remaining polenta slices.

4. To serve, arrange polenta slices in a single layer on a large serving platter. Spoon mushrooms on top and serve immediately, garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired, and remaining parsley.

Each serving contains 379 calories,14g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 647mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 6g protein.

Adapted with permission from, a weekly online recipe and menu planner by Carol Fenster.

Carol Fenster, author of many special-diet cookbooks, including 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes, eats meat but has dramatically increased her intake of plant-based foods and often eats meatless meals, making her a “flexitarian.”




Each serving contains calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, protein.