Polenta with Swiss Chard

During our trip to NC, we were having a discussion with my brother-in-law about foods that a) we like to cook, and b) we like our significant others to cook. He mentioned how his fiance cooks this great dish of salmon with polenta.

For those of you who don’t know, polenta is “coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal boiled with water or stock into a porridge and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled” (thank you, Wikipedia). It’s a lot more delicious than it actually sounds. I’ve had it before at a local restaurant or two, but up until now had never tried cooking it before.

Tammy over at Agrigirl commented on my Week 1 post of this summer’s CSA about how well polenta went with swiss chard; I was looking for recommendations for how to use chard in my kitchen as I was a bit stumped. With both of these people giving their input on polenta, I simply had to try it out.

Polenta with Swiss Chard – adapted from Agrigirl

  • 1 tube polenta, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard, washed & trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2  tbsp olive oil
  1. In a separate pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Then, add the swiss chard. (You do this step first, as the chard will take longer to cook than the polenta.
  2. In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of  the olive oil.  Add the polenta and sauté. Remove polenta from pan when each side has a nice golden brown to it.
  3. On a plate, top the polenta with the chard. Serve.
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Served with chicken on the side!

I think what I liked best about this dish is that the polenta & chard pair really, really well together. Swiss chard, being the leafy green that it is, is a tad bitter. The polenta cuts the bitterness and makes the chard so much more palatable. As I said before, the dish is also very filling and can be used as either main or side dish. It was also a very quick and easy dish to make; I had community band in the evening and was able to make this with plenty of time to walk out the door, rather than rush.

Thank you, Clay & Tammy, for the recommendation of polenta and how to eat it! I’m looking forward to using it more in my cooking.

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