Veggie Marsala

Veggie Marsala
photo by carmen troesser


3 cups water
1¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 cup polenta, such as Bob’s Red Mill
1½ Tbsp. unsalted butter or vegan spread
½ lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1 lb. whole button mushrooms, quartered
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. flour
2 cups dry Marsala wine
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1∕8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley


• In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Slowly add the polenta and stir constantly until it returns to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the butter, set aside and keep warm.
• Meanwhile, cut the Brussels sprouts lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices.
• In a large cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Add the Brussels sprouts and 1∕8 teaspoon salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are bright green, tender and some leaves are charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the sprouts, cover and set aside. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
• Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms in a single layer with ⅛ teaspoon salt. Sear undisturbed 3 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned on one side. Flip and sear another 2 minutes, until browned and soft. Remove the mushrooms, cover and set aside. Wipe out the skillet and return it to the stovetop.
• Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds, until fragrant. Sprinkle the shallots and garlic with the flour and saute 2 minutes. Add the Marsala, the sherry, the thyme, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer about 7 minutes, until the sauce is reduced by half. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and heat through. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
• Divide the polenta between the plates and add the mushroom mixture, then top with the Brussels sprouts. Garnish with the parsley before serving.