Polenta with white beans, chard, and celery

December 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Meyer & Romano, Other, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

I asked Derek what to make for dinner and he suggested making something out of Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe, which we haven’t used in a long time.  There’s not much vegetarian in the main course section, but we found two yummy looking recipes in the chapter on sides.  The first recipe was a relatively light recipe for soft polenta with white beans and veggies.  It didn’t call for any butter or cream or cheese, just olive oil.

  • The recipe says to make the polenta using the cooking liquid from the beans and water.  The instructions for making creamy polenta turned out well.  The ratio of polenta to liquid was 1 to 6, and the cooking time was 50 minutes.
  • While the polenta cooks, you saute carrot, leek, and celery in a skillet with the olive oil.  Then you add garlic, beans, chard leaves, and a little water, and cook until the hard wilts and the water has evaporated.
  • When the polenta is done you stir in the vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Derek thought it was okay the first night, but he didn’t want to eat the leftovers.  He said it tasted good, and the flavor of all the ingredients came through, but somehow it just wasn’t very exciting.  He thought it would be a better side dish than a main course. Rating: B-. (He prefers his polenta cheesy.)

I thought the combination of celery and polenta was quite intriguing, but I agree with Derek that it didn’t quite work as a main dish.  It was reasonably tasty, but I also had a hard time finishing off the leftovers. Rating: B-

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