Soft Polenta with Mushrooms and Spinach

Photo by Floortje Van Essen-Ingen Housz

Take some instant polenta, mushrooms, spinach and an egg, and in 15 minutes you’ve got a plate of comfort food for one. By cooking twice the amount of polenta and turning half of it out onto a flat plate, this maize porridge will set into a nice flat disc that you can use as a pizza base the following day. If you should happen to end up with some leftover spinach, you can use it to make a salad to eat with your pizza.

1 serving, with leftovers


    • 150 g (about 1 cup) instant polenta
    • 75 g (2.6 ounces) Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup grated)
    • Olive oil, for greasing and frying
    • 150 g (5 1/4 ounces) mushrooms (just one kind or a mixture), sliced into smaller pieces, if necessary
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 150 g (5 1/4 ounces) baby leaf spinach
    • 1 egg
    • A small knob of butter
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to season


    1. In a pan, bring 3 cups water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Stir with a whisk as you sprinkle the polenta into the boiling water. Let the mixture cook for 3–5 minutes, or for the time given in the packet instructions. Add extra (boiling) water if necessary, the polenta should be nice and soft. Grate in nearly all of the Parmesan. Taste and season with freshly ground pepper and more salt, if necessary.
    2. When cooked, pour half of the polenta onto a flat plate that you’ve greased with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for tomorrow.
    3. While the polenta cooks, sauté the mushrooms in a small splash of olive oil over a medium-high heat for around 10 minutes. Add the garlic at the end and cook briefly, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    4. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the spinach. Stir-fry the spinach until just wilted. Remove the spinach from the pan and fry an egg (you might need to add another small splash of olive oil).
    5. Stir the butter into the cooked polenta and spoon it into a deep plate. Arrange the mushrooms and spinach on the polenta and top with the fried egg. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with the rest of the Parmesan, in slices.

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