If you can’t tell already, when Caroline and I get together and make dinner, we tend to remake some of our favorite foods from Florence (case in point: affogato, pear and pecorino ravioli, etc.). So, naturally, last week’s dinner followed suit. During our wanderings one day in Florence, the two of us happened across Ristorante il Teatro and decided to stop in for lunch.
In Italy, it’s traditional to order at least a primo (first course) plus either a contorno (side dish) or antipasto (appetizer) for lunch. The two of us both love polenta and adore mushrooms so we had a hard time resisting the crostini di polenta e funghi porcini as our appetizer. It’s an incredibly simple concept: grilled polenta squares were topped with a confit of porcini and caramelized onions. Since we planned on making ridiculously rich hot chocolate for dessert, it seemed like a perfect, light meal to adapt on a Tuesday night–especially when topped with an egg!
Serve this with a side salad for a light winter dinner. Happy eating!
Crostini di Polenta, Funghi, e Uova
Inspired by Ristorante il Teatro, Firenze. You can either make your own polenta (in which case, spread it out in a pan, chill, and then cut into squares) or go the simple route like we did and buy it precooked in logs at almost any grocery store.
- 1 log polenta (usually comes in an 18 oz tube), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds, or 1 cup polenta, cooked according to package instructions, chilled, and cut into 2-inch squares
- 1 medium, yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 package mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon red wine (or really whatever wine you are drinking)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your polenta disks or squares on the sheet. Cook for about 20 minutes, flipping once.
- Remove from the oven and turn on the broiler. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until browned.
- While your polenta is cooking, heat your olive oil in a medium cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add your onions, sprinkle with salt, and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes until they are soft and starting to caramelize.
- Add in your mushrooms and allow to cook. As onions and mushrooms start to brown, add in your red wine and deglaze the pan.
- Sprinkle with thyme leaves and allow to cook until wine has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
- Heat another, smaller nonstick skillet with a lid over medium-low heat. Crack your four eggs directly into the pan. Allow to start cooking. When the whites have just started to solidify, sprinkle with the water and cover.
- Allow to continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. remove from heat and cut into quarters.
- To serve: Top a polenta disk with some of the mushroom/onion mixture and an egg.
- Serve warm with a side salad.