Pesto Mushrooms with Polenta

There was a long period of time when I did not eat mushrooms due to Candida in my body. Well its been years since I had to rid myself of Candida so slowly I have added mushrooms back into my diet.

I am careful to choose high quality mushrooms and I usually pick up at the Union Square Farmers Market, yesterday’s beauties came from Blue Oyster Cultivation. These are the same mushrooms I used to make "bacon" a few weeks ago.

Well for dinner last night I decided to make use of these mushrooms and some leftover basil and pistachio pesto, some of my father’s home grown tomatoes and polenta... just writing this I wish I had another serving!!

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Pesto Mushrooms with Polenta

Servings - 2


  • 4 small heirloom tomatoes, about 2 cups chopped

  • 1/4 cup basil, thin

  • 1 tsp chopped oregano (I used fresh but dried works as well)

  • 1 cup cornmeal (polenta)

  • 1/4 cup pecorino cheese

  • 1 pint golden oyster mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons pesto

  • salt and pepper to taste


In a pot add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. While the water comes to a boil place a pan over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, next add the tomatoes and let cook 3-4 minutes until they begin to break down. Next add the oregano and season with salt and pepper, stir and let cook about 8-10 minutes or until cooked down into a sauce and remove from pan and set aside.

Now that the water is boiling slowly add the polenta to the water and using a whisk or spatula stir continuously, you will notice that the water will begin to disappear and the texture will thicken. When this happens add in the cheese (optional) and mix will. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Remove polenta from the heat, cover the pot and set aside.

In the pan you had cooked the sauce in (I believe in less dishes less of a mess) add another tbsp of oil followed by the mushrooms (instead of cutting the mushrooms I like to rip them apart with my hands) let the mushrooms cook until they begin to lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes and then add the pesto to the pan, make sure to mix well to coat all of the mushrooms. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

To serve place polenta in a bowl and top with half of the mushroom mixture, drizzle with tomatoes sauce and top with fresh basil.

From start to finish this recipe will take just under 30 minutes, how is that for a delicious meatless meal?!


Lauren Courtney