Mushroom ragu with creamy watercress polenta

This is a tasty comfort-food recipe, perfect for a light supper bowl. Using three types of mushrooms, Dorset Sea Salt -garlic salt – with some spicy watercress, it is packed full of flavour.


Serves 2
Mushroom ragu
1 tbs of virgin olive oil
3 spring onions chopped
1 tsp of Dorset Sea Salt -garlic salt
½ cup of dried porcini mushrooms
4 closed cup white mushrooms chopped
8 chestnut mushrooms chopped
1 tbsp of Dorsetshire sauce (From Dorset With Love) or Worcestershire sauce
½ cup of water
2 tbsp of butter
½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
Chives finely chopped for topping

Polenta and watercress mash
1 ½ cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
150ml of milk or cream
½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of quick-cook polenta
1 tsp of Dorset Sea Salt -garlic salt
1 cup of chopped fresh watercress
Black pepper to taste


1. Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl with ½ cup of cold water and leave to stand for at least 15 mins.

2. Meanwhile, make the polenta mash by putting the stock, bay leaf, milk, and garlic salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add the polenta and keep stirring for 1 minute, then take off the heat and stir until it forms a mash potato consistency. (If it becomes a little too thick, add a little more milk or cream to loosen it up).
Then stir in the parmesan, black pepper, and butter leaving it in a warm place until the mushrooms are ready.

Now for the ragu, in a heavy bottom frying pan, heat the olive oil and add your chopped spring onions. Sauté until soft but not brown.
Add the chopped chestnut and white mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to colour.
Then add your garlic salt which will add a wonderful garlic flavour to your mushrooms. The salt will also help the mushrooms release their water, so continue to cook the mushrooms until they start to get tender, and the liquid evaporates.
Now is the time to add the dried mushroom along with the water they were sitting in.
The water from the porcini mushrooms forms a wonderful earthy shock for your mushroom ragu, so don’t throw it away!
Stir in your butter and Dorsetshire sauce, then sauté for a couple of minutes so the liquid forms a tangy sauce around your mushrooms.

Now you are ready to serve. Take your warm polenta saucepan and stir in your chopped watercress just before spooning your mash into 2 bowls.
Make a well in the middle of the mash and spoon on your tangy mushroom ragu.
Grate a little parmesan cheese on top and sprinkle with chopped chives to serve.

Recipe and photography Lara Jane Thorpe

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© 2022 Dorset Food and Drink.
All Rights Reserved. Website By MiHi