Mushrooms, lentils, cheesy polenta and poached egg
Total Time
40 mins

An easy and quick recipe that uses pantry staples. 

Course: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Contemporary
Keyword: cheese, lentils, mushrooms, poached egg, polenta, vegetarian
Servings: 2 people
Author: Ioana Negulescu
For the lentils
  • 50 g beluga lentils*
  • 250 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 20 g butter
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried tarragon
  • chilli flakes adjust the amount to your liking
  • 500 g frozen mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp miso optional
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar*
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest zest from one lemon
For the polenta
  • 75 g polenta
  • 400 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50 g feta cheese finely cubed
  • 3-4 drops natural liquid smoke optional
For the eggs
  • 1 pot water
  • 2 organic eggs* room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  1. Start by cooking the lentils: bring the water to boil, add a pinch of salt, then boil them for 15 minutes (they should still have a crunch). Drain the excess water and set aside.

  2. While the lentils are cooking, you can prepare the mushroom mix. Add the butter to a pan, the fry the garlic and spices (caraway, tarragon and chilli flakes) for a minute.

  3. Add the frozen mushrooms, cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes on medium-high heat. Once the mushrooms have thawed, remove the lid, turn the heat to maximum, and stir until the excess water evaporates.
  4. Mix the lemon zest, miso, soy, rice vinegar and mirin in a glass, then add that to the mushrooms.
  5. Add the cooked lentils to the mix. Taste, and adjust the salt.

  6. Stir well, and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated, but avoid getting the mix too dry. Set aside.
  7. Cook the polenta: bring the salted water to a boil, add the polenta, stir vigorously. Add the cheese and, if you happen to have it, the liquid smoke. You're looking for a slightly runny, creamy consistency.
  8. Poach the eggs. I won't explain how to poach an egg, but leave this link where Gordon Ramsay walks you through the steps far better than I would have.
Recipe Notes
* I used beluga lentils for this recipe, since this is what I had in my pantry. You can choose your favourite type of lentils, they will work just as well. 
* If you do not have rice vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar, but reduce the quantity to 2 tsp.
*I cooked my egg sous vide, at 63ÂșC for 1h. If you also have an immersion circulator, I recommend using it for this dish.