Years ago, ground polenta simply provided hunger-defying gruel to the poor, but today it's found cooked with the expensive additions of Parmesan and butter. Here, instant polenta is used, so there are only minutes from package to plate and the peasant price tag still holds strong. It's well worth stocking a package in your pantry.

Serves 6


  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 1/4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (any type really; my preference would be mini portobello)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes; some halved, some not
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • A handful of delicate arugula
  • Sea salt and freshly ground, black pepper


Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Preheat your broiler to high.

Put the polenta and chunks of butter in a deep, 10-inch diameter ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Gradually pour the hot stock onto the polenta, beating with gusto to prevent any large lumps forming. Keep beating until the mixture thickens and is starting to bubble like erupting volcanoes, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season well with black pepper and salt.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the Parmesan. You could clean the sides of your skillet at this stage to remove any obvious volcano lava (spitting polenta). Top the polenta with the mushroom slices, tomatoes and crumbled feta.

Put the pan under the hot broiler until the tomato skins have burst and the mushrooms have wilted with the heat, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before dressing.

From Take One Pot: Super Simple Recipes Cooked in One Pot (Kyle Books) by Georgina Fuggle.

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