Cheesy Polenta and Chard

Tee hee… We finally got a bag of the Swiss chard I’d been checking every week. Tonight, like so many nights,  dinner got started a little late so I went with one of our standards… Cheesy polenta and greens. Alas, I didn’t write down the source for the original recipe but it’s been modified many times in our kitchen, always with good results.

Start with:
1 T butter
1/2 c onions, shallots, or leeks
(Sautee)
1 lb chopped spinach
1/4 t salt

I’ve used just about any green in place of the spinach, they all have their unique flavors and textures, but they do all work. Tonight we used the leeks and rainbow Swiss chard from Tait through our online market order.

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Sir those until the greens have wilted and all the water is simmered off. Then take them out and set them aside.

Now, the original recipe called for half the polenta I’m about to prescribe. With the original, you’ll be using the polenta as a creamy sauce for your greens. With the version I make it’s more of a half and half combo. If you want to do the original version use half of all the following quantities.

6 T butter
2 T flour
1/2 c polenta

Stir this in the pan you just took the greens out of, evenly combine and let it bubble just a little while, as you would the rue for gravy.

Add:
2 c chicken broth

Add this slowly, as if making risotto. (Or not.) Use homemade, or store bought, or bouillon if necessary (it was tonight).

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Then stir in:
1/2 c milk
Pause
The greens and onions you set aside
Pause
1/2 c grated parmesan (or Asiago or whatever you’ve got) (you can skimp on the cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste

Now you have this:

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You are done at this point assuming you’ve got something else in the works. But if you’d like to one-pot it tonight, poach two eggs in little cups in the polenta with a lid on the top. Set the table while they poach ’cause you are almost done.

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I believe this recipe is highly tolerant of substitution. If you eat gluten or dairy- free don’t hesitate to give it a try.

Maybe you’ll beat me to the chard next week?

Elizabeth Crisfield

(I’m a former co-op board member and man, you should have smelled those fantastic leeks when I chopped them.)


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