Mushroom Polenta Appetizers

Mushroom Polenta Appetizers

This is a recipe I whipped up at the last minute for a dinner party. It’s gluten-free and potentially vegan – if you use crushed nuts and breadcrumbs for the topping instead of cheese.


One roll of polenta (or, of course, you can make your own, in which case spread out in an even layer about ¾“ deep, leave until cold, and cut into squares, about 2” x 2”)

1 lb brown (crimini or portobello) mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
2-3 dozen black salt-cured or Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Tamari (soy sauce), sea salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh dill or tarragon, chopped
Olive oil and/or butter to sauté the mushrooms

Topping: Crumbled feta cheese, or blue cheese, or 2 oz crushed pecans, or a combination of chopped nuts and breadcrumbs


1.   Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2.   Brush a baking sheet with olive oil.

3.   Over high heat, sauté the mushrooms in batches with a drop of oil or oil+butter. Turn frequently until browned. Place in a bowl, and use the same pan to sauté the onion for five minutes, then add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the onion, garlic, olives, lemon juice, and fresh herbs to the mushrooms; mix well, and add tamari, salt, and pepper to taste.

4.   Slice the polenta into thin rounds, ½” maximum. Place the polenta on the prepared baking sheet, and place a spoonful of the mushroom mixture on top of each round. Sprinkle with the feta, blue cheese, or pecans.

5.   Bake for 20 minutes or so until the polenta is lightly toasted and the cheese has melted.

6.   Serve warm.

And, as usual, here is a .pdf file for you to print up.