Polenta hiding mozzarella and greens
The day I made this meal I fell off one of my horses. That horse was truly going like 20-30 mph through a wooded trail and completely oblivious to me on her back. Luckily, I twisted mid-air and landed on my back, so that the pressure of hitting the ground was spread out over my entire body, sort of like that flight attendant who fell out of a plane from high in the sky.
This meal was as memorable as that fall from the horse. Imagine mozzarella placed in a warmed bowl, covered with spiced greens, sausage (if desired, I did not desire), and then doused in creamy, parmesany, polenta. Every spoonful was like eating velvet. The flavors and textures were all the perfect complement to eat other.
The Omnivore, normally one to be very wary of creamy whiteness in his food, devoured his portion, loving every bite. He was skeptical but declared this dinner his ‘new favorite!’
So easy that this was our main dish, vegetable, and carb all in one convenient ensemble.
Polenta Hiding Lemony Greens and Mozzarella (adapted from The Splendid Table via 5 & Spice)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked corn polenta (also called corn grits)
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- olive oil
- about 1 lb. of kale or spinach, washed and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- juice of one whole medium-sized lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 lbs. fresh mozzarella (fresh), sliced or chunked
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and browned (optional)
- grated Parmesan, for serving
- In a medium-sized pot, combine the broth, water, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and bring to a boil. Pour in the polenta in a thin stream, stirring as you pour.
- Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot tightly and cook. Stir every few minutes, until the polenta has thickened to a creamy consistency (about 30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat about 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the garlic cloves and cook for a couple minutes until it becomes golden and fragrant.
- Stir in the greens and a pinch of salt. Cook until the greens are wilted, stirring, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice. Cook another minute. Place dishes in a 200 degree oven, if desired, to slightly warm for serving.
- When the polenta is ready, divide the slices of mozzarella between plates. Sprinkle some cooked sausage over the mozzarella, if using sausage, and put greens on top of the mozzarella on each plate.
- Spoon the polenta over the plates making sure it covers the cheese and greens on each plate.
- Then, grate fresh Parmesan over each and serve.