Gratin of Polenta with Greens

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h 5m

Serves four

This gratin can be a substantial side dish or a light supper. Flavoring olive oil with crushed red chile flakes makes a "red" oil to add subtle heat.


  • 1 cup medium-coarse or coarse cornmeal, preferably organic stone-ground
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt; more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound mixed tender greens, such as arugula, spinach, watercress or young kale, plus a few sprigs of dill or fennel; thick stems cut away, leaves chopped coarsely
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano



Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In an oiled 3-quart nonstick ovenproof skillet, stir together the cornmeal, water and salt. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.


In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chile flakes and a pinch of black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Pour half the oil into a 1 1/2 or 2-quart baking and serving dish, reserving the garlic in the skillet, and then pour another tablespoon into a cup to be drizzled over the final dish. Brush the seasoned oil all over the inside of the serving dish. Add the chopped greens to the oil and garlic remaining in the skillet, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the garlic.

Season the greens with salt and pepper. If necessary, uncover the greens and increase the heat at the end to evaporate any liquid. (You'll have 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked greens.)


When the polenta has cooked 40 minutes, quickly stir in the greens and half the cheese until combined. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer to the oiled ovenproof serving dish, drizzle with the reserved oil, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until the cheese is melted, another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of <I>Fine Cooking<. All rights reserved.

RecID 5859

nutrition information per serving

261 calories; 14g total fat; 9mg cholesterol; 754mg sodium; 28g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 8g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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