Spinach Polenta with Mushrooms, Leek and Poached Egg

Photo courtesy Mushrooms Canada

Baby, it’s cold outside. Really cold and snowy too. Yes, comfort food is definitely called for. Here’s a recipe from Mushrooms Canada and the Egg Farmers of Canada that certainly fits the bill.

While polenta does take time to cook, it’s worth the wait  – comfort food at its best! Look for whole grain cornmeal to reap maximum health perks. Regular cornmeal, does provide fibre but whole grain varieties provide almost double the amount. The same goes for other nutrients, such as potassium and zinc. But as whole grain cornmeal contains the germ, for longer storage, you might want to keep the package in your refrigerator.

Then there’s the mushrooms – I could eat them everyday. Add in the leeks (a member of the allium family) and lutein and folate-rich spinach and you have a nutritional powerhouse of a meal. And don’t forget the egg too. (Check out my last post – Should you be wary of eating eggs again?)
While cornmeal itself is gluten-free,  if you are avoiding gluten, look for products labelled as gluten-free as cross-contamination can occur during the manufacturing process.

Spinach Polenta with Mushrooms, Leek and Poached Egg

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Serves: 4


4 cups water
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup polenta (cornmeal – whole grain preferred)
1 tbsp  butter
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb  fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
1 large leek (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinse and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Poached Eggs:
4 large eggs
Water for poaching
1 tbsp white vinegar

Optional Garnishes:
Fresh chopped chives
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese


In a large pot, over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Stir in chopped spinach. Slowly add polenta while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until polenta is smooth, 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cook polenta 25-30 minutes. Whisk often. Remove from heat and add butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add leek and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and butter, heat until butter is melted. Add white wine vinegar and stir until the liquid evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Set mushrooms aside.

Poached Egg:
In a large saucepan, bring 3 inches of water and a splash of white vinegar to a simmer over medium-low heat. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. Gently stir the water in a circle, and then gently slip egg into water. Poach about 3-4 minutes, then remove egg with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Repeat with remaining eggs.

To assemble, spoon polenta into bowl, top with mushroom & leek mixture, and then poached egg. Add optional garnishes.




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Categories: Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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