Creamy Polenta with Spinach and Sautéed Mushrooms
They are plains to lose sight of that start next to Tejo river. And if the green of the cork oaks and olive trees is the predominant colour more to the north, when we head south the colours take on other shades. The golden of the cornfields combines with long days of sunshine. This is our Alentejo! One of the most beautiful regions of Portugal, land of passions, of good people who love and respect Nature and what the land gives. It is also a region with a strong tradition in the culture of vines and olive groves, where some of the best wines and olive oils in our country are produced.
Recently I've been strolling around the Alentejo, more precisely in the region of Elvas and Campo Maior. It's there, amidst long hectares of vineyards bordering neighbouring Spain, that the Adega Mayor is located. Built by Siza Vieira and with a unique architecture in Portugal, it stands as a white mantle among the long rows of vineyards, now even more beautiful, painted in shades of green and gold. I had the pleasure of visiting the winery to get to know all the history that surrounds it as well as the art moved by the people who work there. I've learned how to make wine, from when the grapes are still harvested by hand, during the grape harvest, through the period of transformation and ageing of the wine until the moment the bottles of the gods' nectar arrive at our tables. In the winery we are very well received and we let ourselves be carried away by the senses that open up to imagination, words and the moment to taste a good wine.
Wine has always been part of our culture and is today, proudly, one of the hallmarks of our country. Many of our best moments are built around a bottle of wine. Every time we open a bottle of wine we open a world of possibilities. We open conversations and open ventures. We open our hearts and souls. We share and create happy memories among friends, stories are told, the senses are opened to words and emotions and always with a beautiful snack nearby. And it was with these moments of relaxation in mind that I brought with me from the winery a bottle of Sercial Branco wine, one of Adega Mayor's mono-castes. This is the ideal wine to accompany the dish of Polenta Cremosa that I bring you today. This is a dish that comforts the soul, that combines with cold and gray days and that is perfect to accompany with the freshness of this wine of intense personality but very versatile and that will certainly open our senses.
- 1 cup of corn semolina
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 shallots
- 1 clove of chopped garlic
- 400 g marron and shimeji mushroom mixture
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tea spoon of thyme
- 50 g butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 100 g spinach
- Green Sprouts
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Bring a pan of water with salt and let it boil. As soon as it boils add the cornmeal at once and stir vigorously with a rod of wire. Lower the heat to a minimum and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat a frying pan with the olive oil and the shallots cut into quarters. Add the chopped garlic clove and sauté for a few minutes until the shallots are golden brown. Add the laminated mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, add the thyme and sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated. Add the balsamic vinegar, wrap and cook for two more minutes.
- When the polenta is cooked add the butter and the Parmesan cheese and wrap to make it creamy. Turn off the heat, add the spinach and wrap until they wilted.
- Serve the polenta with sautéed mushrooms, spinach leaves and green sprouts.