Mushroom and cheese are a marriage made in heaven. Keep the breakfast crowds happy and add this dish by Brisbane chef Glen Barratt to your cooking repertoire.
Poor man’s polenta
3 cups water
1½ cups polenta
120g grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
15 marigold flowers, with petals picked
¼ cup mixed herbs
Black tahini vinaigrette
½ cup black tahini
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
¼ cup dark soy
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 lemon, used for zest and juice
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
4 portobella or field mushrooms
¼ cup mixed herbs, chopped (e.g. rosemary, golden marjoram, thyme, tarragon, parsley and lemon verbena)
1 small Spanish onion, cut into wedges
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbs oil
6 Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
100g activated sprouts (e.g. chickpea, pea and mung bean)
1 large handful of seasonal greens, roughly chopped (e.g. rainbow chard, amaranth and kale)
Salt and pepper
1 tbs white vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil or herb oil, drizzled
Edible flowers and herbs, to garnish
- To make the poor man’s polenta, bring water to the boil in a pot. Reduce to a simmer and whisk in polenta. Stir with a wooden spoon until water has been absorbed. Add parmesan and butter, stirring well. Once combined, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir through marigolds and herbs.
- Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper. Use a rubber spatula to evenly distribute and level polenta. Refrigerate until set, or store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Cut to desired size to serve.
- To make the black tahini vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. This vinaigrette can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- When ready to assemble and serve the dish, preheat an oven to 200 degrees.
- Brush the tops of the portobella mushrooms with butter and place on a moderately hot char-grill. Rotate mushrooms, removing from heat once grill marks have formed. Place on an oven tray.
- Brush butter onto poor man’s polenta portions and place on char grill until nicely marked. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Combine feta with the mixed herbs, and then divide evenly over grilled mushrooms. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes until feta has lightly coloured and mushrooms are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, fry the Spanish onions in a hot pan. Reduce the heat once the onions caramelise, then add the red wine vinegar. Cook until all the vinegar has evaporated. Remove onion from pan, keeping aside until later.
- Wipe pan clean then heat until moderately hot. Add a little oil, then the sliced Swiss brown mushrooms. Once coloured, add the fried Spanish onions, a little butter and mix well. Add sprouts and heat through.
- Place two-thirds of the seasonal greens in the pan, lightly wilting. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and mix with the remaining fresh greens in a bowl, folding lightly to combine.
- Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer, adding one tablespoon white vinegar and a generous pinch of salt to every one litre of water.
- Stir water with a slotted spoon, creating a gentle whirlpool, then crack the eggs into the centre of the pot and cook to your liking. Soft poached will take 3½ minutes. Remove eggs from the water and place on an absorbent towel.
- To serve, place sautéed mushroom mix across the middle of the plates. Top with polenta, feta mushrooms and poached egg. Finish with a generous dressing of black tahini vinaigrette, a splash of herbs or extra virgin olive oil, and fresh edible flowers and herbs.
About the chef – Glen Barratt
Using the freshest herbs, edible flowers and seasonal local ingredients are the key to bringing a dish to life for Brisbane chef Glen Barratt.
And with 140 square metres of raised garden beds out the front of his restaurant, Wild Canary, and a location that’s surrounded by rich agricultural regions, Glen is never short of inspiration.
“The recipe I’ve created for you to try adapts well with the seasons. It’s a fairly dark dish but it’s spiked with colour from the garden,” he says.
The way a dish presents is important for more than just looks. “Colour equals flavour, particularly when cooking with vegetables,” Glen explains. “This dish is tasty, it’s visually appealing, it’s got everything you could possibly need.”
Prepare it on your gas stovetop and you’ll find another bonus. “One of the things I like about using gas in the kitchen is that, visually, you can see where you are temperature-wise,” says Glen.
With this breakfast dish, there’s certainly plenty to please.
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