Polenta with Mushroom 'Ragu', Poached Farm Egg, & Garlic Breadcrumbs

February  8, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Sunday Brunch is one of my favorite ways to catch up with friends: a big, lazy meal in a sunny bistro, plenty of hot coffee, maybe a mimosa or two, whiling away the hours over good food and great conversation. But it's February. It's gray and wet and horribly cold. I want to stay in, but I still want the comfort and warmth of a big brunch-y meal. This polenta is the perfect brunch dish. In fact, it's the perfect breakfast-lunch-or-dinner dish. —wcfoodies

What You'll Need
  • Polenta
  • 1 cup Polenta (not instant)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta or milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • Mushroom & Shallot Ragu; Garlic Breadcrumbs; Poached Egg
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shitaake), sliced into ribbons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons dried bread, crumbed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  1. Polenta
  2. Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of vegetable broth to a simmer in a heavy sauce pan.
  3. When liquid is simmering rapidly, stir in the polenta. Whisk until the polenta is incorporated and the pot feels sludgy against your whisk or wooden spoon.
  4. Reduce the heat slightly and let the polenta bubble gently - not a hard boil.
  5. Stirring and scraping the sides/bottom of the pan occasionally, allow the polenta to cook, about 30-40 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
  6. While the polenta is cooking, start the mushrooms (see below).
  7. When the polenta is thick and creamy, turn off the heat. Whisk in the butter, ricotta or milk, and parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning, but keep it on the bland side - the mushrooms will add plenty of salt and herbs.
  1. Mushroom & Shallot Ragu; Garlic Breadcrumbs; Poached Egg
  2. TO MAKE THE RAGU: Heat the oil in a large pan on medium-low. Add in all but 1 clove of garlic and shallots and sweat. Add in the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.
  3. When the mushrooms have browned, add in the fresh herbs; after 1 minute, pour in the vegetable broth. Stir all around, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and allow to cook down until the broth is thick and rich.
  4. TO MAKE THE BREADCRUMBS: Remove the mushroom ragu to a dish. Add a little more olive oil the pan, if necessary, and sweat the remaining clove of garlic, then toss in the breadcrumbs and scrape all together. Set aside.
  5. TO POACH THE EGGS: Bring 6 cups of water to a fast simmer in a heavy-sided pot. Pour in 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  6. One at a time, crack the eggs open and slide them gently into individual bowls or ramekins. Slide one egg into the simmering water. After about 90 seconds, remove the egg with a slotted spoon to a small clean dish. Repeat the process with the second egg.
  7. TO SERVE: Scoop some polenta into the center of a bowl. Top with a scoop of the mushroom & shallot ragu; a poached egg; and some breadcrumbs. Dust with fresh parmesan, if desired, and accent with a sprig of rosemary.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Celeste Moore
    Celeste Moore
  • DCfoodgrl
  • NakedBeet
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • wcfoodies

7 Reviews

Celeste M. December 8, 2014
All I had on hand was instant polenta but holy cow, this was hands-down delicious!!!!!!
DCfoodgrl February 15, 2010
This honestly looks delicious... nice work! I love poached eggs over anything, just can't go wrong.
wcfoodies February 17, 2010
Thanks! It's a fun, easy dish to make and insanely delicious. I love the way the poached egg bleeds into the polenta and makes it rich and satisfying. You also can get away with using less butter this way. Win-win.
artfuse February 12, 2010
AMAZING! This has to win, it's the best. OMG. i'm salivating here!!! big fan of WCFoodies, too, keep up the great work!
NakedBeet February 11, 2010
Runny egg over soft polenta, the weekend indeed, or next NY snowday. Yum
wcfoodies February 17, 2010
Yum is right! Thanks for taking a look!
coffeefoodwrite February 9, 2010
This looks really delicious!