This odd photo depicts my contribution to our upcoming choir potluck: large-sized crimini mushrooms stuffed with creamy polenta and topped with sundried tomato and walnut pesto. They are in the fridge now and I plan to grill them shortly before heading out there.

Making these babies was a multistep process, but it was very worthwhile. The first thing to do is obtain 20 mid-sized crimini mushrooms, separate the mushroom caps from the stems, and marinate the former in some diluted soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos. Then, move on to Step Two, which is:

The Making of the Pesto

This pesto recipe comes from Psalm Lewis‘s wonderful vegan protein workshop. It tastes surprisingly flavorful and pesto-ey, despite having very different ingredients than the original. You’ll need:

1 little jar of sundried tomatoes
1 medium-sized tomato
1/2 cup walnuts
the mushroom stems from Part I
1 date
handful of basil leaves
spooonful of chopped garlic (3-4 cloves)
a drizzle of olive oil (I use the oil that the tomatoes come packed in)
salt, and zest from one lemon

Mix all ingredients in a food processor, save for the salt and zest, by pulsing until they become a chunky paste. Add salt and zest and combine. Set aside, and move to Step Three, which is:

The making of the Polenta 

For this, you’ll need:

1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups water
1 spoonful vegan butter
1 spoonful of the pesto you made in Step Two
a bit of salt

Follow the instructions for kalenta, except with no kale, and add our special pesto in lieu of the regular one. Then move on to Step Four, which is:

The Stuffing and Refrigerating of the Mushrooms

Place mushrooms on baking sheet that can fit in your fridge. Spoon polenta into each mushroom to completely fill the hole, then spoon a bit of the pesto on top (you’ll be left with some polenta and pesto, and that’s not a bad thing at all.) After a period of refrigeration, the polenta will harden and the mushrooms will travel better wherever you’re taking them. Which brings us to Step Five, which is:

The Grilling of the Mushrooms

Place them under the grill for 5-10 mins, or as desired, or just bake in a 350-degree oven until the mushrooms feel cooked but still solid.

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