eat your greens: crispy baked polenta with caramelized onions & swiss chard

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i love polenta. it’s warm, filling and has that great mild versatility to it. you can bake it, grill it, make a creamy porridge out of it, or fry it. it’s naturally gluten free and typically vegan. it’s incredibly easy to make, but comes in handy-dandy pre-cooked rolls that give you a super quick option for recipes that call for round, firm pieces of polenta. it’s great on busy nights because you can use it as a base for a lot of dishes. this dish is a really simple one, it goes great as an appetizer or as a side dish because it’s very light. you can play around with what you include, i sometimes make it with pine nuts or you could definitely add cheese to the dish. last night i threw in some dried cranberries and it was the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness with the polenta and veggies. the caramelized onion really does the trick with this dish, and the secret to really delicious caramelized onion is to cook it very slowly, over low heat, until it is golden brown.

ingredients:

  1. 1 roll of pre-cooked polenta (i used trader joe’s organic polenta), cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. a few springs of fresh thyme
  4. 5 leaves of swiss (red or rainbow is fine) chard, chopped and stems discarded
  5. 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  6. salt to taste

directions:

  1. pre-heat oven to 400
  2. place the cut polenta pieces onto a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, top with fresh thyme
  3. bake polenta in oven until edges are golden and crispy to touch, about 15 minutes
  4. in a sauce pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the chopped onion over low heat, and let onion caramelize over low heat until tender and starting to golden, about 8 minutes
  5. once onion is golden add in the chopped chard and stir together, then cook for another 3-4 minutes, until chard is soft but not soggy. you may also add in dried cranberries, pine nuts or olives to the pan if you wish
  6. top the cooked polenta slices with the onion & kale mixture and add salt to taste

the end.

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