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Polenta with Garlicky Swiss Chard

January 29, 2010

This is pure comfort in a bowl.  The polenta is so soft and creamy, it just melts in your mouth.  The swiss chard is a perfect accompaniment, adding in some major personality.  I couldn’t believe how easy this green was to cook with.  It’s somewhere in between spinach/lettuce and kale, holding it’s shape like the tougher greens without the stronger green taste.  

beautiful swiss chard leaves

soo creamy

This dish is very fast to make and also pretty healthy since swiss chard packs in some nutrition.  I couldn’t help but add in some cheese to the polenta, which probably partly explains my infatuation with, and I would absolutely advise you to do the same.  For the greens, I just sauteed them in garlic, and added in some red pepper flakes in the end, and a splash of vinegar.  The only thing I’d change next time would be to up the amount of greens since I loved the swiss chard so much.  This dish really hits the spot and will leave you all warm and satisfied!

Recipe

adapted from 5 second rule  (basically left out the currants, which I would have added, but didn’t have any on hand)

Polenta:

  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 1 Tb Boursin cheese [more if you want it creamier] or can use butter

Greens:

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch cleaned rainbow chard,  stems chopped, leaves cut up
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar (or any vinegar you have on hand, or lemon juice)
  • Pinch (or several) crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

1) Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.

2) Stream in the polenta, and whisk.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently until the water is absorbed and the polenta is nice and creamy, about 20 minutes.  (You should aim for a very low heat with an intermittent sputter.)

3) Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. 

4) Meanwhile, combine the oil and garlic in a large skillet and set over medium heat.  Warm the garlic, stirring frequently, until fragrant and sizzling, but not brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the chopped chard stems and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper, and continue sauteing for about 2 more minutes.

5) Now add the chard ribbons and 2 tablespoons of water.  Stir, flipping the greens over and over until they’re coated with the oil, garlic and water.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the greens are wilted and tender, but still bright.  Remove the cover, raise the heat slightly, and cook out the remaining water, about 2 minutes longer.

6) Stir in the vinegar, red pepper, (and currants if using).

7) Spoon the polenta into bowls.  Top with greens.

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