Creamy Polenta With Garlic-Butter Kale and Mushrooms

Serves 4.

Note: From “Half Baked Harvest Cookbook,” by Tieghan Gerard.

• 3 c. whole milk

• 2 c. dry polenta

• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) salted butter, divided

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 small bunch kale, stemmed and leaves coarsely torn

• 16 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

• 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) salted butter

• 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated

• Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional

• 4 poached eggs

• Green Olive Pesto (see recipe)


To make the polenta: In medium pot, bring milk and 3 cups water to boil over high heat. Whisk in polenta and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened. Stir in Parmesan and 2 tablespoons butter until melted and combined, then season with salt and pepper.

To make kale and mushrooms: In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. When it shimmers, add kale and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until kale has wilted. Add 6 tablespoons butter and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the veggies are soft and beginning to caramelize. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant. Remove pan from the heat.

To serve, divide polenta among bowls or plates and top each serving with mushroom-kale mixture and a poached egg. Season egg with salt and black pepper. Spoon a little of the Green Olive Pesto on top and serve.

Green Olive Pesto

Makes 1 cup.

Note: From “Half Baked Harvest Cookbook,” by Tieghan Gerard.

• 1 c. packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

• 1/2 c. green olives, pitted and finely chopped

• 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

• 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

• Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt


In medium bowl, combine basil, olives, pine nuts, olive oil and pinch each of red pepper flakes and black pepper.

Taste and add salt as needed. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.