Even though it is allegedly winter (I’m not 100% sure, I live in Houston) and my tastes have shifted to slightly heartier fare, I have been inspired by my friend, Felicia at love.life.eat, to investigate and be romanced by The Green. It’s easy to make a salad, but her religion of kale has begun to influence me and it was time to experiment with down-home goodness + greens.
Enter: Swiss Chard.
When I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, it had just about every perfect note I was looking for: the creamy richness of the polenta, the bite of the onions, earthy greens and a healthy dose of lusciousness with the well-placed fried egg. It was a must-do.
Luckily, Alexandra included a no-tears version of preparing polenta that made me leap – Bitten’s Polenta Without Fear. For this I am forever grateful.
I made only a few minor tweaks to this dish – one was adding minced garlic. Other than that it was perfectly simple and magnificent. Pick a cold night and make this immediately.
As always, for health and lifestyle reasons, I prepared this with organic ingredients, but conventional will work as well.
PARMESAN POLENTA, SAUTEED SWISS CHARD AND ONIONS + FRIED EGG
Serves 2 (with extra polenta left over)
1 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
1 cup coarse cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup or more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste, optional (Note: NOT OPTIONAL. Do this.)
Head of swiss chard, washed and chopped (Note: Cut out the tough stems.)
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Method (for the polenta)
1. Bring milk to a boil with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and add a large pinch of salt. Adjust heat so liquid simmers. Add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking as you do to prevent lumps. When it has all been added, let mixture return to a boil, then turn heat to low. Polenta should be just barely simmering.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally and being sure to scrape sides and bottom of pan, for 15 to 20 minutes, until mixture is creamy and cornmeal tastes cooked. If mixture becomes too thick, whisk in some water, about 1/2 cup at a time.
3. Taste and season polenta as necessary with salt and pepper. Take pan off stove, stir in the butter or oil and the cheese if you are using it, and serve, passing more cheese at the table if you like.
(For the toppings)
4. Sautee onions in olive oil in medium pan until soft and translucent.
5. Add garlic clove and sautee for one more minute.
6. Add chopped swiss chard and toss with onion / garlic mixture until the greens are wilted.
7. In a small sautee pan, melt a small amount of butter and cook two eggs sunny-side-up.
Spoon a heaping dose of polenta in a bowl. Sprinkle extra parmesan cheese on top if you wish. (You totally wish.)
Spoon chard / onion / garlic mixture over the polenta.
Top with one fried egg.
Pour a glass of crisp white wine, grab a fork and enjoy!