Celebrations and Caramelization!

Baked Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Marinara

So I finally defended my Master’s Thesis on Friday! I am absolutely thrilled, relieved, and grateful for everyone who loved, supported, and prayed for me through this process. To celebrate, I went out and drank my first ever shot (yeah, call me a late bloomer, it’s fine), and went to Trader Joe’s and bought a fortune’s worth of deliciousness (which I will now share what I did with it!).

In the defense room!
Celebrating with my people!

So with my heap of spoils, I made another recipe from my fav cookbook, Allison Day’s Whole Bowls, the Baked Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Marinara. I’ll share my version of it with you now.

  • 2 logs premade polenta (Day has a recipe for homemade polenta, but I bought some premade polenta at TJ’s)
  • 2 Tbs. evoo
  • 1 lb. of mixed mushrooms (I used cremini and shiitake), sliced thin
  • 1 large onions, sliced thin into half moons
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 24 oz. jar of marinara (I used the Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine from TJ’s, but, again, Day has a recipe for a homemade sauce if you’re feeling more work on your plate)
  • Grated fresh parmesan to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the polenta into 1-inch rounds, placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and brushing with olive oil and sprinkling with kosher salt. Bake for 25 minutes.

All coming together!

While the polenta bakes, cook the onions, mushrooms, rosemary, maple syrup, and salt in a cast iron skillet over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, until very soft and jammy in texture. Add the red wine in the last 5 minutes of cooking time to deglaze the pan and add flavor.

Heat the marinara on the stove.

To serve, layer all the ingredients and top with grazed parmesan. I made a side dish of oven roasted asparagus with garlic and lemon. Enjoy!

Bon appetit!