Michael’s mom was laid up with the flu when we got to Baltimore. She had commented (on my very website) that she had acquired some Italian cornmeal for polenta before our arrival. So, on our arrival, I went through the kitchen to see what we had, (a lot – she had managed to complete the food shopping right before being knocked flat by the flu) and then took a quick trip to the supermarket to fill in a few things. Having had so much fun with the roasted mushrooms & cardoons over polenta, I decided to make a variation on that theme. It was roasted mushrooms, fennel, & artichoke bottoms with cannellini beans over polenta.
I used the same roasting technique as I had in the roasted mushroom & cardoon recipe, but used 2 8 oz. containers of regular white mushrooms, along with a single fennel bulb and a can of artichoke bottoms, chopped to about the same size as the cannelini beans. One can of canellini beans, rinsed, though an easy way to stretch this dish would be to add another can. The white mushrooms seemed to have more moisture than the smallish cremini I used last time, so they took longer to get roasted, and even when finished, didn’t get quite the roasted look that the brown-to-begin-with cremini had. After that, I reserved the liquid left from the mushroom pan and roasted the fennel and artichoke bottoms the same way as the mushrooms, though I did add a little bit of fresh rosemary. I wanted to do the mushrooms and fennel at the same time, but found it was probably better that I didn’t, once I saw how much moisture the white mushrooms threw off – the fennel would simply have steamed rather than roasting. I opened a can of cannellini beans and placed them in a bowl along with the roasted mushrooms and fennel, then made a dressing from:
The reserved mushroom liquid
Some of the reserved liquid from the can of artichoke bottoms
1 large clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Once again, sorry for the total lack of proportions. Michael’s dad asked me about the dressing after dinner, and I hadn’t measured it at all.