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Mini polenta with leeks, mushrooms and zola fondue

Polenta, typically a winter main course from the north of Italy, it becomes an interesting starter seasoned with ingredients like mushrooms and Gorgonzola cheese. I love gorgonzola and finally after 10 years my husband has begun to appreciate it too, this finally allows me to use it as I prefer, and last but not least, both of us are happy!

Actually I used a pre-cooked polenta: just because it’s spring, I wouldn’t in my wildest dreams stand an hour in the kitchen over a steaming pot! Moreover, in London I don’t have a copper polenta pot and probably never will.

This flan is a good idea for a great lunch: small, light fondue and a little crispy fried mushrooms … I would say a nice starter over the year!

Mini polenta with leeks, mushrooms and zola fondue
(Serves 4)

Polenta and Mushrooms:
150 gr. instant polenta
200 gr. mushroom
2 leeks
½ shallot
1 sprig of rosemary

  • Wash, dry and slice leeks and mushrooms (set aside about ¼ for frying). I used mixed mushrooms and I also added a small handful of dried porcini just to give a little more flavour (in this case soak the porcini for 10 minutes).
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil into a non-stick pan and, without frying, brown the chopped shallots with the rosemary. After a couple of minutes add leeks and mushrooms and mix well.
  • Cover with a lid and cook until the mushrooms are tendern season and set aside.
  • As I said I used some instant polenta, namely the Valsugana. I used about 150 gr of polenta  and  500 ml of boling water with a pinch of salt, stirring for 5 minutes on a low heat (cook it according the pack instruction).
  • When the polenta is ready turn off the heat and add the mushrooms and leeks dressing.
  • Stir well and put the mixture into 4 moulds pressing with a spoon. Chill until set, about 1 hour.

Zola fondue:

120 gr of Gorgonzola

100 ml of fresh whole milk

  • To make the fondue, pour the milk into a heavy-based pan, add the cheese and place over a low heat.
  • Stir constantly, taking care to dissolve the cheese. The cream is ready when the cheese has melted. However, as the polenta absorbs too much, it’s better to keep the fondue a bit liquid and light.


  • Slice thin the mushrooms that you will be taking part, flour and fry in hot oil about 2 minutes per side until they are golden and let them dry on kitchen paper. It’s nice to serve the mini polenta with 6 or 7 hot and crispy slices on each plate.


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