Cauli "Polenta" with Shimeji & Hazelnuts
Cauli "Polenta" with Shimeji & Hazelnuts

Cauli "Polenta" with Shimeji & Hazelnuts

Tuesday, 20th June 2017

Making polenta from cauliflower was a real discovery for me; roasted in the oven it gives a flavoursome take on traditional cornmeal polenta.
Cauliflower, like other cruciferous veggies, such as cabbage and broccoli, contains compounds such as sulforaphane that are great for your gut and its many microbes. Mushrooms are excellent prebiotics that help to bolster your beneficial bacteria army and support a more robust immune system. This isn’t just a nutritional feast for the gut: the deep cheesy taste, whether it’s from the Parmesan or yeast flakes, makes this a truly satisfying dish for our taste buds too. Plus it’s a simple and quick supper option for when you crave a really hearty and healthy meal at the end of a long day. 
Serves 2
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or other unpasteurised Italian hard cheese (or substitute 6 tablespoons (20g) nutritional yeast flakes for a vegan version)
  • Mineral-rich salt and black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 8–10 button mushrooms
  • 150g shimeji mushrooms (or use other mushrooms, such as shiitake)
  • 1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter or ghee (use coconut oil for a vegan version)
  • 4–6 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • Small cupped handful hazelnuts, lightly toasted, then lightly crushed
  • Fresh herbs, finely chopped (I think chervil or flat-leaf parsley work best)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line a baking tray or ovenproof dish with baking parchment.

Place the cauliflower, garlic and onion on the lined tray and roast for about 25 minutes until tender. (If you haven’t already toasted the hazelnuts, you can add them for the last 5 minutes of cooking.)

Add the roasted cauliflower, onion and garlic to a food processor. Then add the olive oil, Parmesan (or yeast flakes), a few decent pinches of salt and pepper and the lemon juice and add a touch of filtered water to thin as desired. Pulse until you have a smooth, creamy, polenta-like texture.

To cook the mushrooms, heat the butter, ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan, add all the mushrooms and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut aminos and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat. 

To serve, divide the cauliflower mix between two plates, spoon the mushroom mix on top, then add the hazelnuts, drizzle with a touch more olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs.


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