Polenta Crostini with Pickled Chantrelles & Nicasio Square Cheese

Yield: Serves 10–12

Chef: Chef Brian Streeter

Polenta Crostini with Pickled Chantrelles & Nicasio Square Cheese



  • 7 C. water
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher Salt
  • 2 C. coarsely ground cornmeal
  • ½ C. Parmesan Reggiano, freshly grated

Pickled Chanterelles:

  • 8 oz. chanterelle or other mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 C. champagne vinegar
  • ½ C. sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • ¾tsp. coriander seed
  • ½ tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 small stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, sliced thin
  • ¼ C. flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ C. vegetable oil
  • $ oz. Nicasio cheese


Bring salted water to boil in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Whisk in the cornmeal to prevent it from forming lumps. Return to a boil and then turn the heat to low to a very low simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Stir in Parmesan cheese during the last few minutes. Pour out onto a lightly oiled sheet pan. Set aside to cool and when firm cut into 2-inch squares.

Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and spices to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes. Place the mushrooms in a stainless-steel bowl and pour the pickling liquid over the top. Allow to cool and reserve.

In a separate bowl, combine the celery, red onion and parsley. Remove the mushrooms from their brine and add to the above ingredients. Toss to combine and dress with the olive oil and vinegar. Reserve.

Heat a wide-bottom skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and the pieces of polenta. Brown on both sides until crisp. Top with a spoonful of the Nicasio square cheese and a small spoonful of the mushroom salad mixture.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Annahala Pinot Noir.

Note: Nicasio Square is a washed rind, cow’s milk cheese from Nicasio Cheese Company in Nicasio, California. It is reminiscent of Tallegio cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy.