When these cold and rainy months began calling for something warm and hearty, I remembered my time in Florence and the comfort in a bowl of polenta. Polenta is often served with a thick tomato or meat sauce but I thought it'd be nice to try making it with some zing. Enter: lemons. This recipe has taught me that not all comfort food has to be creamy-- it can be bright with citrus while still rich and hearty. And the poached egg? Well, those just make everything better.
5 cups water
1 cup polenta
salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 chopped cloves of garlic
1 bunch (4-5 ounces) chopped kale
1 lemon (zested, halved, and squeezed of its juice)
splash of white vinegar
1 pat of butter
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium-large pot. Lightly salt the water then whisk in the polenta. Once the polenta is incorporated, lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to cook the polenta for 30-40 minutes, whisking every ten minutes or so, until the polenta no longer tastes soapy (that's when it's done). If you prefer a thinner polenta, stir in more water as it cooks.
While the polenta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan then add the chopped garlic. Stir in the kale, stirring the leaves until they are bright green and tender (about 8 minutes). Add a pinch of lemon zest and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. If the kale begins to stick to the pan, add a splash of water.
One the kale is finished, poach your eggs. Poaching eggs terrified me before testing this recipe, but never fear! Deb is here. Or, you can buy one of these nifty things). Once the eggs are finished (the whites are firm but the yoke still has give), remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Your polenta should be finished now. Stir in a pat of butter and a splash of lemon juice. Plate the polenta in two bowls, add the kale and top with the poached eggs. Dust with fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of lemon zest. Enjoy!