16 June 2009
With a bang
Summer produce has finally arrived with a bang. Yesterday's quick tour of the Union Square greenmarket proved that--there were so many different things to see and to eat: lovely bouquets of freshly-picked flowers, new strawberries, fat zucchini, green onions, and more salad greens than you could shake a stick at. I tried to restrain myself, as I was only there for a few potatoes and onions, but couldn't resist a quart of beautiful, small strawberries, shining in the sun.
Part of the reason I attempted to demonstrate a little restraint was that the veggies from our CSA started to come in last week. Perfectly sweet turnips, sharp braising greens, oh-so-pink radishes, and enough scallions and new garlic to make my house smell like onion for days. And there are a few more coming in tomorrow, so... I'm doing my best not to overstock the fridge. And so to use up those perfectly lovely greens, I made an old standby: braised greens with polenta and fried eggs.
I know. If you don't like eggs, this is not the recipe for you. If you don't like bitter greens, see the previous comment. (I'm fairly certain that most of you like polenta, so I won't have to say anything about that.) But this is one of my favorite things to eat, especially if I'm cooking for one (I just cut the recipe in half). The sharp bite of the greens, along with the sweetness of the polenta, smeared in runny egg yolk, well... this might be the ultimate comfort food, if you're me.
Polenta with Quick Greens and Olive Oil Fried Eggs
3 cups water
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons stone-ground polenta (I cannot recommend highly enough seeking out decent polenta. The 5-minute stuff that comes in a box is foul.)
a pinch of salt
1 bunch braising greens, rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
1 generous teaspoon (or 2) red pepper flakes
1. Bring the water to a quick boil, and pour in your polenta and salt. Whisk for about a minute, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer the polenta for about 25 minutes, or as long as you like, stirring frequently. I ususally let mine go for 20-30 minutes, but longer is fine. Add water if it's getting too thick.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. When it's hot, add the garlic and pepper flakes, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the greens, stir to coat with the oil, and cover. Let steam and wilt for about 2-3 minutes. Take off the lid, and let cook a few minutes more. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Meanwhile in a non-stick skillet, fry your eggs to your preferred consistency.
Serve all together, generously sprinkled with parmesean cheese, if you like.