Soft Polenta With Roasted Smoky Chickpeas, Grape Tomatoes, Chard and Creamy Basil Sauce
Note: From “Great Bowls of Food,” by Robin Asbell.
• 1 1/2 c. medium-grind cornmeal
• 1 tsp. salt, divided
• 3 c. water
• 1 c. milk
• 1 tbsp. butter
• 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 1/2 c. cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
• 1 c. fresh basil
• 1 garlic clove
• 2 oz. chèvre (goat cheese)
• 1/2 c. plain yogurt (not Greek)
• 1 large bunch chard, washed, stemmed and dried
• 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then gradually whisk in the water and milk. Over medium heat, whisk while it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to keep it just bubbling, and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir every 5 minutes for about 20 to 30 minutes. When it reaches the desired thickness, stir in butter and Parmesan. Keep warm.
In large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add drained chickpeas and shake in the pan, rolling them around until they start to pop and crackle. Cook for about 5 minutes until slightly browned. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then transfer to a bowl.
In a food processor, mince the basil and garlic. Add the chèvre and yogurt and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and process until smooth.
In large sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and sauté chard until wilted and dark green. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Prepare 4 bowls, with layer of polenta on bottom, topped with chard and chickpeas, and then grape tomatoes. Drizzle 3 tablespoons basil sauce per bowl.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 540 Fat 24 g Sodium 1,070 mg Saturated fat 9 g
Carbohydrates 62 g Total sugars 11 g
Protein 22 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 10 g
Exchanges per serving: 3 starch, 1 carb, 2 medium-fat protein, 3 fat.