After many years of mistakes and some dead plants, I have finally grown a green thumb. I’ve been really lucky with a great herb garden but this year I’ve decided to try my hand at some new edibles. My rainbow swiss chard and leeks are growing like mad so the chard was my first harvest. Preparing organic, fresher than fresh and inexpensive vegetables from my backyard was pretty damn satisfying. And tasty.
This vegetarian recipe is from The Food Network magazine. I made a few modifications and additions – but was really impressed with the hearty flavors overall.
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup instant polenta
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup Half & Half
- 2 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces fresh ricotta, crumbled
- 8 large basil leaves, chopped
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350. Toss the tomatoes, garlic, balsamic, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large ovenproof skillet. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes are charred around the edges, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 but keep the tomatoes inside.
Meanwhile, bring 5 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta until smooth and creamy. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and the cream. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Slice the chard leaves into wide strips and the stems into 1-inch pieces. Boil the stems until almost tender, about 5 minutes, then add the leaves and cook until both are tender, about 3 more minutes. Drain the chard.
Remove the skillet from the oven and place over medium-high heat. Push the tomatoes to one side, add the butter and swirl until the butter is golden brown. Add the chard and toss to coat. Divide the polenta among 4 bowls. Top with the tomatoes and chard. Season the cheese with salt and sprinkle over the top.