Polenta With White Beans and Italian Salsa Verde 2.000

(Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post; food styling by Nichole Bryant for The Washington Post)

Plant-Powered Newsletter Jul 12, 2019

Italian salsa verde couldn’t be more different from the spicier Mexican version. This is a tangy, bright mess of parsley, lemon and capers that takes dishes from pedestrian to outstanding. Here, it tops a bowl of creamy polenta, the Italian equivalent of grits, with white beans and greens. It’s a rib-sticking dish that’s not too hard to put together — elegant and humble at the same time.

Want to extra protein? Saute a bit of pancetta or guanciale before making the bean filling in the same pan.

This recipe is from Week 7 of Voraciously's Plant Powered newsletter. Sign up at wapo.st/plantpoweredguide.

Make Ahead: Make the polenta, white beans and greens, and the Italian salsa verde in advance or refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Reheat the polenta on the stove top and add a splash of vegetable broth or water to help it come back to a creamy consistency. Reheat the white beans in a skillet until warmed through.


Servings:
2 - 3

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-3 servings

Ingredients
  • For the polenta
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup medium-grind or stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
  • For the beans and greens
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 15-ounce can low-sodium white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (2 ounces) baby spinach leaves or other chopped, dark leafy greens
  • For the salsa verde
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (may substitute more parsley here)
  • 1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

For the creamy polenta: Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cornmeal gradually, whisking constantly, to form a thickened and smooth mixture. Add the salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook over low heat, slowly bubbling, for 20 minutes: The mixture will resemble a thick, yellow paste. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until it has melted.

Meanwhile, whip up those beans and greens: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the beans, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and a few grinds of black ground pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until fragrant and warmed through (enjoy that perfume of wafting garlic). Stir in the spinach or other greens and continue cooking for 1 minute until that has wilted. Remove from the heat.

Finally, make the salsa verde: Stir together the parsley, oregano, capers, oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Spoon the warm polenta into bowls. Top with the beans and greens, salsa verde and grated cheese. Serve warm.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser, of ACoupleCooks.com.

Tested by Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser.

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