Green beans and mushrooms….what’s there not to like?! They pair well together and make a very popular side dish. But add some creamy polenta next to them and make it a delicious main dish 😋.
There are more ways to cook green beans – steamed, sautéed, baked. And no matter what method you choose, garlic should not be missed from the list of ingredients. Mushrooms are also really easy to cook and garlic gives them a nice flavor too. I chose to marinate them in soy sauce before sautéing, but you can use balsamic vinegar instead if you wish.
As for polenta, well, this was pretty standard in Romania many years ago, especially in the region I was born. When I was a child and I used to spend the summer vacations at my grandparents’, we ate polenta instead of bread because there wasn’t any bakery in the village. And let’s face it, it’s much easier to make polenta than to bake bread, especially when only wooden heated ovens are available. My grandmother used to make firm polenta which she cut with a string. She placed the string under the polenta, right in the middle; then she lifted up the string from both side to cut it in half. And she repeated until the the polenta was cut into slices, like a cake 😊.
For this recipe, I prepared a different type of polenta, more soft and I added a bit of “creaminess” to it 😉.
How to make green beans and mushrooms with creamy polenta
In this section you’ll find general information about ingredients and preparation method. Details about quantities and step-by-step method can be found in the recipe box at the end of the article.
Marinate and cook the mushrooms
Wash, drain and slice the the mushrooms, then put them into a bowl with soy sauce (or balsamic vinegar) and minced garlic. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow mushrooms absorb the flavors.
Then grease a large skillet with oil and heat it. Drain the mushrooms and, once the oil is hot, put them into the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat then set aside.
Sauté the green beans
You can use either fresh or frozen green beans. If using fresh, you need to snip the bases off first, then rinse and drain the beans. Most of the recipes require to blanch the green beans before sautéing them, but I skipped this step and it was fine. However, if you choose to blanch the beans, then you need to sauté them for a shorter time.
Then finely dice the onion and mince the garlic cloves.
Next, heat the oil in a large skillet or a wok and, when it’s hot, add the diced onion and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes. Then add the green beans, tomato sauce, and water. Once they’re heated, add salt, black pepper, and thyme. Cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic 2-3 minutes before the beans are cooked so the garlicky flavor will be more fragrant.
Make the creamy polenta
Polenta ingredients are pretty simple and, in theory, it’s not complicated to make 😊. It’s quite finicky (hence no photos 😊) and there’s a risk to end up with a lumpy stuff instead of a smooth porridge. To make the polenta creamy, I added at the end a bit of vegan butter and nutritional yeast.
Start by heating the water in a saucepan. My grandmother used to sprinkle 1 tsp of corn flour on the water (no whisking). The flour will spread on the water surface and form a thin crust on the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent burning and sticking on the pan. She also used to sift the flour before cooking it so less lumps are formed. And I prefer following the tradition in this case 😉.
Once the water is boiling, add salt and turn heat to the minimum. Add the corn flour gradually while whisking continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 15 minutes, until you get a thick paste. Right before the polenta is cooked, bring in the vegan butter and the nutritional yeast, stir well for a few seconds, then turn off the heat.
If using coarse corn flour, the cooking time should be longer and you might need more water. So, you might want to pulse the flour in a blender before cooking it.
Cooking the polenta should be the last step in this recipe preparation since it thickens quickly. And anyway, it’s better to serve it while hot.
How to store this dish
You can keep the cooked green beans and mushrooms u to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. As for the polenta, I recommend serving it immediately. Some say they reheat it with a bit of water, but I didn’t try it. I prefer cooking less and enjoy it while hot 😊.
If you like this garlicky green beans and marinated mushrooms with creamy polenta recipe, please leave a comment below and rate it. And if you make it, let me know how it worked for you; I’d love to hear your feedback 😊. Also, take a photo and don’t forget to tag #choose_tasty on Instagram 😊.
Green Beans and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta
Green beans sauté
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 200 g green beans fresh or frozen
- 100 ml water
- 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- ⅔ tbsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 4-5 garlic cloves minced
- 400 g brown Champignon mushrooms sliced
- 5-6 tbsp all purpose soy sauce
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500 ml water
- 120 g corn flour sieved
- 1 tbsp salt or to taste
- 20 g vegan butter
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Prepare the mushrooms
- Put in a large bowl sliced mushrooms, minced garlic and soy sauce; combine gently and set aside for 10-12 minutes;
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet, than add the marinated mushrooms; sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms soften; set aside;
Cook the green beans
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or a wok and, when it's hot, add the diced onion; sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes; stir from time to time ;
- Add in the green beans, water and tomato sauce; once heated, add salt, ground pepper, and thyme; cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes; stir from time to time;
- When the beans are almost cooked, add the minced garlic and give it a stir; cook for 2-3 minutes then turn off the heat;
Make the polenta
- Put the water into a saucepan, sprinkle 1 tsp of corn flour on top and bring it to a boil;
- When the water starts boiling , turn the heat down to minimum and add salt;
- Add corn flour gradually while you keep stirring with a wooden spoon;
- Cook for about 15 minutes, until you get a thick paste; don't stop whisking;
- Add vegan butter and nutritional yeast; stir for a few seconds, until all ingredients are incorporated;
- Turn off the heat and transfer the polenta on serving plated while hot;
- Add the green beans on top or next to the polenta and enjoy.