July 15, 2014

sauteed greens and crispy sage with polenta

 This is the epitome of wholesome comfort food.  The creamy polenta is satisfying like pasta but more nutritious, and the sauteed greens are packed full of vitamins.  The fried sage leaves are light and crunchy and make the perfect topping.  PS... We had this as leftovers for lunch the next day and it may have been even better!;)  Awesome dish!!

Servings 4-6
Total Time 1 hour

for the polenta
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal 
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 30-40 sage leaves

for the sauteed greens 
  • 2 bunches (about 2 pounds total) chard, spinach, or other leafy greens, rinse, cut out the stems by slicing along both sides (optional, if you leave the stems just chop them finely), stack the leaves, roll into a loose cylinder, and cut across into wide ribbons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced, about 1 tablespoon
  • a few dashed hot sauce
  • sea salt (or kosher)
  • freshly ground black pepper


for polenta

 Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.  Add enough sage to cover the bottom of the pan, flip to cover both sides with oil, and cook for just a couple of minutes until the leaves are curled, dark in color, and crispy.

Drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Cook the rest of the leaves in the same oil if you didn't fit them all in the first time.  (this oil can be reserved for another use)

In a large pot, whisk the cornmeal into the broth.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  The polenta should be steaming but not bubbling away.  Stir every 5-6 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot and sides.  Cook until the polenta is smooth and creamy, 30-40 minutes, maybe a bit longer if you are using coarsely ground cornmeal.

Add the butter, a few twist of freshly ground black pepper, and the cheese to the polenta.  Stir well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside covered to keep warm.

for sauteed greens

Heat the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the chopped stems, cook stirring constantly, until they begin to soften, 2-3 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for another few seconds, until fragrant.  

Add the greens (it will seem like to many to fit at first but they wilt quickly) and toss them a bit and cover for 2-3 minutes.  Stir and cover again to cook for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally for another 5-10 minutes until they are cooked to your liking.  Add the lemon juice, hot sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the polenta into shallow bowls and top with parmesan cheese and sage leaves.  Add the greens to your plate and enjoy!!!

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