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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Caramelized Winter Veggies with Polenta

So my bag of tricks is getting empty. There are only so many forts we can build and dinosaur books we can read. I'm stir crazy, wishing we had an adventure around the corner, very ready for spring. Luckily, when spring hits the island it really hits. I'm considering making a paper chain and doing an official countdown. Everything will be beautiful in just 30 days...

On some of the longest days I dream of our old city life. We could walk out the door and pass an afternoon easily. Of course there are faces I miss too. One of those faces raved about this meal so I had to try it - I trust her.

Caramelized Winter Veggies with Polenta
slightly adapted from The Fresh & Green Table: Delicious Ideas for Bringing Vegetables into Every Meal 
 serves 4

2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 small bunch kale or collard greens
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 parsnips, peeled cut into 1/2-in dice
3 carrots, peeled cut into 1/2-in dice
3 yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-in dice
1 onion, cut into 1/2 in-dice
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and maple syrup and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

2. Remove the stems from the kale or collards Make a stack of leaves, roll them lengthwise and cut them across into very thin ribbons. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the parsnip, carrots, potatoes, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and toss well until the veggies are evenly coated with oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and cook, stirring and flipping every 5 minutes, for 15 minutes. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and continue to cook, uncovered, stirring and flipping for another 15 minutes.

4. Fold in the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Gradually and gently mix in the greens in small handfuls until they are all wilted, about 2 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the heat sprinkle with sherry-maple mixture while scraping and crispy bits off the bottom, serve warm atop polenta.

Cheater's 5-Minute Polenta

1/2 cup light cream
1 cup fine cornmeal
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. In a large saucepan, combine the cream 2 1/2 cups water, the cornmeal, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk thoroughly before you turn the heat on! Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken and begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Immediately reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the polenta has thickened to a creamy, porridge-like consistency, about 1 minutes more.

2. Remove the pan from the heat, and using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the butter and cheese. Taste and add more salt if desired. Serve immediately.

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