GREEN PO­LENTA

Western Living - - FOOD / A VERY MODERN HOLIDAY -

Here, hum­ble and homely po­lenta is trans­formed into a vi­brant green show­stop­per side you might just find your­self mak­ing over and over again. Be­cause this recipe has only a hand­ful of in­gre­di­ents, sourc­ing and cook­ing with the best you can find makes all the dif­fer­ence to the fi­nal dish. ½ lb mixed green leaves, such as kale, spinach or Swiss chard, coarsely chopped 2 gar­lic cloves Salt, to taste ½ cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil,

di­vided 8 cups wa­ter 2 cup coarse or fine-ground po­lenta ¼ cup mas­car­pone cheese Freshly ground black pep­per, to taste Place gar­lic cloves in a medium saucepan and fill with wa­ter. Bring to a boil over high heat, sea­son gen­er­ously with salt and stir in greens. Blanch un­cov­ered un­til greens are ten­der (about 1 minute). Strain, dis­card­ing wa­ter, and al­low greens and gar­lic to cool a cou­ple of min­utes. Once cool enough to han­dle, place gar­lic in a food pro­ces­sor and squeeze out as much wa­ter as pos­si­ble from greens be­fore also adding to the food pro­ces­sor. Add a pinch of salt and ¼ cup olive oil and process, oc­ca­sion­ally stop­ping to scrape down the sides of the pro­ces­sor, un­til a fairly smooth paste forms. Trans­fer to a bowl and set aside. Bring 7 cups wa­ter and 1 tsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Grad­u­ally whisk in po­lenta. Keep whisk­ing un­til po­lenta starts to thicken. Re­duce heat to low and cook, un­cov­ered, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally un­til po­lenta is creamy and ten­der (about 40 min­utes for coarse po­lenta and about 20 min­utes for fine po­lenta). Stir in re­main­ing ¼ cup olive oil and greens purée be­fore re­mov­ing saucepan from heat and stir­ring in mas­car­pone cheese. Sea­son to taste with ad­di­tional salt and black pep­per. Serve while warm.

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