Polenta with Braised Greens and Stir Fry Asparagus

I had received my farm box last week and in it were beautiful veggies such as chard, turnip greens and a big bunch of asparagus. I usually like to make pasta or risotto with these veggies to show off their delicate flavors, but this time I wanted to try something different, like polenta.  I remembered having polenta with wilted greens at a restaurant a while back (though that dish lacked flavor), it gave me an idea to make something similar with lots more flavor and more veggies. Polenta with greens and asparagus is the dish I came up with to use these springtime vegetables.

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As I mentioned I wanted to make polenta but couldn’t find polenta at the store which forced me to improvise.  Did you know that polenta is the same as corn meal?  Specifically coarse corn meal.  I happened to have cornmeal at home and used that to make my polenta dish!

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I cooked 1 cup corn meal with 4 cups water for 20-30 minutes until the cornmeal was tender and creamy.  While the polenta was cooking I sauted asparagus in olive oil. Set it aside and then in the same pot warmed up a few cloves of garlic in olive oil and braised two bunches of greens.  Once the polenta was cooked I gently stirred in the greens along with a tablespoon of butter.   Then I served the polenta along with a side of asparagus.  Super delicious, light and springy, this dish makes for a light dinner or a wonderful lunch. Give it a try!

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Polenta with Greens and Stir Fry Asparagus
serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup polenta cooked according to package directions.
  • 2 bunches of greens – such as chard, kale, turnip greens, etc.   Finely chopped.
  • 3 garlic cloves cut into this slices
  • 1 bunch of asparagus cut into 3-4 inch spears
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Directions:

  • Warm 2 tbsp olive oil and stir fry asparagus for 5 minutes until tender. Set aside.  In the same pot warm 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds, then add the greens.  Cook the greens for a few minutes until they are wilted and tender.
  • Add the cooked greens to the cooked polenta and stir in with 1 tbsp butter.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Get ready to plate the polenta.  Evenly distribute the polenta among 4 plates.  Then add the asparagus and serve with extra black pepper.

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