I used to think for something to be called “cake,” it had to be sweet — but, this Savory Polenta Cake totally proved me wrong. It’s full of delicious, fresh herbs and and earthy, caramelized mushrooms. Now you can definitely have your cake and eat it too!This savory polenta cake makes for a delicious side dish to go along side meats, poultry, or even hearty fish. And it is also fabulous as a main course! In fact, it’s the perfect vegetarian entrée as it will absolutely satisfy you, just as a serving of steak and potatoes would!
I should know because I happen to be someone who loves meat and potatoes!
This Savory Polenta Cake with mushrooms is intensely flavorful and extremely hearty. And believe it or not, this dish not only vegetarian, but also guten-free. If that’s important to you, you’ll adore this.
I was actually inspired by a sweet polenta cake, Pinza Della Befana, that I saw in La Cucina Italiana Magazine last month. This is a rich cake made with cornmeal, fruit, nuts, citrus, and fennel seeds.
While I find the sweet cake intriguing and will definitely try it soon, I wanted to create something similar but savory. Hence this gorgeous savory polenta cake.
Just look at the yummy carmelization on these Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms that fill the cake!
Some lovely salads to serve with Savory Polenta Cake with Mushrooms:
Do you love polenta, like me? Here are two of my favorite, most comforting polenta recipes:
My Savory Polenta Cake with Mushrooms could of course be a lovely addition to my “sofa dinner party” this coming weekend!
Enjoy every last bite!
Up to 1 day and at least 30 before making the polenta: Make the Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms.
About 1-1/2 hours ahead: Hydrate the porcini mushrooms.
1 hour ahead: Mix the polenta and begin baking.
You can make this 1 day ahead. Let it cool completely and cover it tightly before refrigerating overnight. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature, and warm it in a 375 degree F oven, just until it’s hot all the way through, about 20 minutes.
This savory polenta is deliciously full of delicious, fresh herbs and and earthy, caramelized mushrooms.
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
- 2 cups instant polenta
- 1 1/2 cups potato flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 cups Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms (click here for recipe)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Add the stock, sherry, all of the herbs, salt, and dried mushrooms to a large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat off, keep the pot covered, and let the mushrooms hydrate to become soft, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the polenta, potato flour, baking soda, sugar and cheese.
Once the porcini mushrooms are soft, uncover and bring the mixture to a boil once again. Once it's boiling, add the Sautéed Sherry Mushrooms and turn the heat off.
Now very slowly and gradually, add the polenta mixture in a steady stream, constantly stirring. Add the butter and stir only until you have a thick, creamy mixture.
Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 x 3-inch baking dish and use a flat-bottomed spatula to smooth the top.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes before serving. (Cover it with foil after the first 15 minutes.)
If you cut and serve this soon after baking it, it will be a much looser consistency than the "cake" you see above. Either way, it's delicious!
If you want to take one extra step, this is also fabulous if you slice it once it's very firm (the next day), and then fry the slices in olive oil -- it adds an additional "crust."