Lighten up your polenta with cauliflower! This cauliflower polenta is made with cauliflower rice and topped with sautéed shiitake and maritake mushrooms. If the Japanese mushrooms are difficult to find, feel free to substitute them with any other mushroom variety.
Despite the pound of cauliflower that I added to the recipe, the cauliflower flavors don’t overwhelm the polenta. The melted butter and cheese add richness and help make the dish taste like a proper polenta. I suppose a tiny bit of butter and cheese can fix anything!
Mushrooms are in season right now, so I paired the cauliflower polenta with some sautéed shiitake and maitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have great flavors that can stand out on their own. If these mushroom varietals are not easy for you to find, the good ‘ol cremini mushrooms will work well in this dish, too.
MASTER MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
Rice the cauliflower in batches: Resist the urge to just throw all the florets into a food processor and blitz everything together. You’ll probably end up overcrowding the bowl and have a couple of large chunks of cauliflower that won’t break down.
Leftovers: Because there’s a lot of cauliflower in this recipe, you might notice some water building up in your leftovers. I usually just drain the liquid.
For those of you who want to know how to cut a head of cauliflower, here is my video tutorial!
This recipe makes 4 servings. It's great served with your choice of protein: grilled tofu, beans or legumes, or even grilled chicken! Adapted from
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
1 large head of cauliflower* (should yield about 1 pound of florets)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (140g) fine grind cornmeal
4 cups (950ml) vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon porcini mushroom powder** (optional, see note)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup (55g) shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
4 ounces maitake mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
red pepper flakes
freshly ground pepper
cauliflower into florets
. Working in batches, add florets into a food processor and blitz until you get fine cauliflower rice.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and let that cook for about 30 seconds to release the fragrance. Next, add the cauliflower rice and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cornmeal and the vegetable broth and stir to mix everything together. Reduce the heat to medium and let everything simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. If you find that all the liquids have evaporated before the cornmeal looks softened, add water, about 1/2 cup at a time. Add the butter, cheese and salt and stir until the ingredients have melted. Cover the pan with a lid while you cook the mushrooms. The cornmeal will continue to absorb all the liquids.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a separate pan. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt on top.
Dish up cauliflower polenta into bowls and top with some mushrooms. Sprinkle some chives, red pepper flakes and ground pepper on top. Serve immediately.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Makes about 4 Servings. Amount per serving: Calories: 382, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 461mg, Cholesterol: 30mg, Total Carbohydrate: 42g, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Protein 10g
*If you are making this recipe from a head of cauliflower (versus packaged cauliflower florets), you will want a head that is slightly over a pound. After you pick out the leaves and chop of that center core (or stem), you should get about a pound of florets.
**I wanted to give this dish more umami flavor, so I added 1/2 teaspoon of porcini mushroom powder in there. Essentially, it's dried porcini mushrooms that I ground into a powder with a coffee grinder.
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