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Crispy Polenta with Garlic Scapes and Sauteed Kale

July 4, 2011


Anyone still holding on to those garlic scapes we got in our boxes last week?  Good!  Here’s a chance to use them.  How about that baby fennel and all those hearty greens?  Well, toss ’em all in here and gobble up the goodness.  I added a bit of protein to this recipe by buying couple good sausages from the meat case at Whole Foods you can eat this as is and be sat-is-fied!

Recipe adapted from one of my favorite food bloggers and all around awesome lady Toni from Boulder Locavore.

Serves 4.


For the polenta:
1 cup polenta, or corn grits
1/2 cup milk (I used hazelnut milk)
2 cups water
Salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp of butter (have any of that herbed butter left?  I used some of that!)

For the sauteed kale:
6 cups or more kale or any braising green, rinsed, dried, and torn into bit size pieces
1 cup baby fennel, chopped, separating fronds and bulbs
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
All of your garlic scapes, cut into 1 inch pieces
Olive oil
Optional: Red pepper flakes for a little kick


Make the polenta first since it takes some time to set.  Spread butter in a loaf pan and set aside.  In a medium sauce pan, bring water, milk, and pinch of salt to an almost boil.  Slowly stir in polenta and bring heat to low.  Stir constantly for 10 minutes or so until polenta is thick like oatmeal.  Stir in butter, a pinch more salt, and fresh pepper.  Transfer to loaf pan and stick in fridge for 30 minutes to cool and firm up.  You’ll want it firm enough to slice into patties and grill them.

When loaf is firm, slice into 1/2 inch-ish slices.  Heat butter and/or olive oil in heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Add polenta patties to pan and brown them on each side until they are crispy and heated through.    Transfer one patty per plate and get ready for those sauteed greens.

While patties and getting crispy, start the saute.  You’ll need to multi-task on this one so be prepared.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium.  Add fennel bulb, red bell pepper, garlic scapes, and pinch of salt/pepper and saute for about a minute.  Add fennel fronds and red pepper flakes if you want and continue to saute for a couple minutes until fennel is translucent and garlic scapes starts to give off an aroma. In batches, add kale and saute down until they begin to wilt.  Do this is 3 or 4 batches so you don’t overload the pan.  Once the kale is wilted and deep green, plate up on top of grilled polenta.

If you wanted to brown up some sausage, add that to the plate too.  You can either add the sausage crumbles or bits into the saute and plate it up as one, or grill it up separately and serve on the side like I did.

Bon appétit!

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