Mushrooms on top of a Polenta Mash with a Pickled Apple & Radicchio Shaved Salad and a Pesto Verde Sauce with Chorizo Crisp.

Keen Home Cook 2020-21 Finalist - Marina Kiefer

About the Recipe

This dish is very Mediterranean and I believe has a freshness and balance of flavours.


  • 8 wild mushrooms or oyster/ trumpet mushrooms

  • 1 cup polenta (200 grams)

  • 6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 can of coconut milk

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 cup grated yeast flakes (25 grams) 

  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • one bunch of fresh parsley (3 tablespoons)

  • 1 small fresh red chilli

  • 1 lemon

  • 15 grams vegan unsalted butter

  • 1 braeburn apple

  • handful of pea shoots

  • 2 handfuls pomegranate seeds



Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

Peel away all but one of the garlic bulb, then slice off the top centimetre, revealing a cross-section of the cloves.

Place the garlic on a sheet of tinfoil, drizzle with oil and rub it into the bulb. Wrap it up, pop it on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, removing the foil after 20 minutes, until it’s soft. Leave it to one side to cool a little.

Pour the milk into a large, heavy pan along with 800ml of water and 1 teaspoon of sea salt and bring it to the boil.

Pour in the polenta in a thin stream, whisking all the time so it thickens as you go. Keep whisking for 2 to 3 minutes over a high heat.

Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and cook it for about 40 minutes, or until the polenta starts to come away from the pan, stirring every 5 minutes to stop it sticking.

Melt the butter, then pop half of it into a blender with the basil. Squeeze all of the garlic cloves out of their skins (discarding these) and add them to the parsley along with a good grating of nutmeg.

Blitz to a vibrant green butter, then pour it into a small pan. Warm it through gently over a low heat, then set aside.

When the polenta is ready, finely grate in the Parmesan and stir in the remaining butter. Serve immediately with the basil butter drizzled over the top, finished with an extra grating of Parmesan.

Scallop and Prawns

Pat the scallops dry.

 Add a light dusting of flour.

Season the scallops.

Cook the scallops in a hot pan.

Finish with butter, garlic, and herbs.

Pesto Verde

Blend together the basil, parsley, finely diced chilli and oil in a blender. 

Add grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Finally add a touch of cold water and blend again. If not quite smooth add cold water slowly until smooth.

Radicchio and Apple Slaw 

Cut the radicchio in half and slice into thin half-moons.

Thinly slice the green apple and radicchio.

Thinly slice a red chilli

In a mixing bowl, add the sliced fennel, green apple and chilli slices.

add lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Stir well. 

Add parsley and ground pepper, toss well and serve.