Monday, April 4, 2011

Polenta with Greens and Eggs

There are several recipes for cooked greens with corn meal mush or polenta or grits and eggs. I have taken a couple and adapted it to my taste.

Adapted from the smart palate recipe for creamy polenta with greens and poached egg and a Southern fried eggs, grits and collard greens recipe.

4 cups water
1 cup polenta (I am using Country Grains Floriani from Oliveto in Oakland. It is very coarse.)
1 tsp sea salt
2-1/2 cups wild greens like wild mustard or radish greens cut in strips
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Bring water to a boil in a 2 or 3 quart pot.
Add salt to pot, then add polenta in a steady, slow stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk for a minute or so to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, until polenta is thickened. Whisk every few minutes (polenta likes to stick to the bottom of the pot). Add more water (1/4 cup at a time) if the polenta becomes too thick.

Meanwhile, wilt the greens in a pan with the water remaining on their leaves and some salt.

When polenta is cooked to your liking, turn off heat and stir in the chopped greens. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Cover until ready to serve. (If reserved polenta becomes too thick, or to reheat leftovers, stir in 1/4 cup water or milk and whisk over low heat for a couple of minutes to loosed it up.)

To poach eggs: add water, to a depth of about 3 inches, to a small pot or saucepan. Bring to a boil, add vinegar, and reduce heat to low. (It should be just below a simmer, hot enough for small bubbles to form on the bottom of the pot but not actively bubbling - that would break up the egg.) Break each egg into a small cup and carefully slide egg into water. I like to swirl the water with the handle of a wooden spoon right after adding the egg; it prevents the egg from spreading out too much into the water. Poach for 4 to 5 minutes, until white is firm and yolk is still soft. Remove egg from pot with a slotted spoon.

If you want, you can cook your eggs however you like them. This dish is delicious with fried eggs, creamy scrambled eggs or poached eggs, so experiment!

Transfer hot polenta to bowls. Top each serving with a serving of egg, drizzle with olive oil, and shower with parmesan shavings.

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