To me, nothing screams old-school childhood than polenta with sautéed greens on top. I remember my grandma making this for lunch when she was babysitting my sister and I, and my mom making it for dinner whenever we needed a quick meal. Polenta was ALWAYS stocked in the pantry!
Polenta is an Italian "porridge" made from boiled cornmeal that is often topped off with grated cheese and served with sautéed veggies, or it can be fried like a cake and served with sauces like pesto on top. If you go for the version shown below that I made for dinner, the consistency is similar to grits but how "runny" you make the polenta is up to personal preference. My Nonna likes it a bit thicker while my mom likes it more fluid, but you have to be careful when cooking it because it can thicken up quick! It takes 10 minutes max to make the polenta, and the longest part is waiting for the water to boil! Here's what you'll need:
You Will Need:
Since polenta is really up to personal preference, some of these measurements are up to you.
To start, fill a large pot with water, salt, and set on the stove to boil.
While the water is heating up, clean the broccoli rabe:
- Break off the bottom inch of the stems and throw out any leaves that look browned or slimy.
- Rinse and drain.
Once the water comes to boil, drop in the broccoli rabe and cook for no more than 10 minutes, until the stems softened but not mushy.
Remove the leaves form the water and set in a colander to drain.
Using a medium frying pan, coat the bottom with olive oil, heat over medium-high heat, and add in two of the garlic cloves, cooking until lightly golden brown.
Add in the broccoli rabe, season to taste with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the leaves shrink a bit more in size and the stems are not chewy.
To make the polenta, coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with olive oil, heat over medium-high heat, and add in the remaining two garlic cloves, cooking until golden brown.
Next, add the water to the pan, and season with salt and pepper.
Once the water comes to barely a simmer with just a few bubbles popping on the surface, whisk in 1/2 the bag of the polenta a little at a time.
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