Polenta with Balsamic Kale & White Beans

I’m a huge fan of polenta.  I know it’s really easy to make from scratch, but I like to buy the pre-made tubes of it for even easier meals.  Sliced up and pan fried (or baked), it makes the perfect base for so many different toppings.

I had some kale on hand that I needed to use up, and I thought it would be great over the polenta.  Throw in some white beans for protein and you’ve got a quick and easy weeknight meal.  You want to use a high quality balsamic vinegar for this recipe.  This is my favorite, but if all you have is the basic stuff from the store you can always reduce it a bit in a saucepan, until it gets nice and syrupy.

Polenta with Balsamic Kale and White Beans

1 18-oz. tube Food Merchants Organic Polenta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion (red or white)
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for drizzling

Slice the polenta into 1/2-inch thick rounds.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and brown the polenta on each side.  (I use a spray olive oil for this, but you can use regular olive oil, or no oil at all.) Set aside.

While the polenta is cooking, heat a large pot over medium to medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onion and saute until it’s softened, about five minutes or so.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for about a minute more, or until fragrant.  Add the kale with the water still clinging to the leaves, give it a stir, and cover the pot.  Cook for a couple minutes to start wilting the kale, then add the vegetable broth, cover and stir again.  Cook the kale until it’s tender, about ten minutes or so depending on how hot your pot is.

Once the kale is almost tender, stir in the white beans and cook with the lid off, just until they’re heated through.  Add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

To plate, place a couple polenta rounds on the plate and top with the kale mixture and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Notes: I find that the polenta takes a while to turn golden brown.  This might be because I don’t use a lot of oil, but don’t be worried if yours also takes a while.  If you like more heat, just add more red pepper flakes.

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8 Responses to “Polenta with Balsamic Kale & White Beans”

  1. That looks so good. I love anything with kale and beans. It looks like an easy dish to make too!

  2. made this last night.. it was delicious

  3. Hey, Scott! I’m so glad you liked it!

  4. I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! I served it with some fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes, which also went well with the balsamic vinegar. We’ll definitely be having it again. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi, Sarah! I’m so glad you liked the recipe! I bet the tomatoes were really good with this. I’ll have to try that next time!

  6. This was absolutely fabulous! I made a few adjustments …. added shredded prosciutto at the same time I added the beans, used chicken broth, and I “de-spined” the kale to speed up cooking time. The red pepper flakes really made it Delish! Great recipe!

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