By David Cohen
I like my polenta soupy, think Cream of Wheat consistency. So, for 1 cup of polenta, ignore what the directions on the package say and use 6 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of salt and then slowly stir in the polenta. Turn the heat to very low and cook for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the polenta is cooking, sauté a finely-chopped shallot and 12 to 16 ounces of sliced cremini or white mushrooms in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the mushrooms start to brown, remove from the heat.
Peel two cloves of garlic, cut into chunks and then mince in a food processor. Add two large handfuls of arugula and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. With the processor running, drizzle olive oil into the mixture until you get a smooth somewhat loose consistency.
When your polenta is done, stir in a little butter, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the polenta onto plates and top with the mushrooms and arugula puree -- chicken or shrimp is optional.