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Gratin of Polenta with Greens

Source: Fine Cooking Issue No. 31
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 5 Minutes
  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, young kale, plus a few sprigs of dill or fennel; thick stems cut away, leaves chopped coarsely
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano
Gratin of Polenta with Greens Recipe at
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 Fine Cooking Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves four
Calories: 261
Fat. Total: 14g
Fiber: 5g
Carbohydrates, Total: 28g
Sodium: 754mg
% Cal. from Fat: 48%
Cholesterol: 9mg
Protein: 8g
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