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Polenta with Garlicky Chard


2 bunches of Swiss Chard (about 3 ½ pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup golden raisins

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal

2 cups nonfat (skim) milk

2 tablespoons grated parmesan or Romano cheese plus additional for serving

1 tablespoon pine nuts (pignoli) toasted and chopped


Cut off and discard bottom 3 inches of Swiss-chard stems. Cut remaining stems into ½-inch-thick slices; coarsely chop leaves. Rinse and dry stems and leaves separately and place in separate bowls. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper over medium heat about 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly golden, stirring occasionally.

Increase heat to medium-high and sliced chard stems to skillet and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually add chard leaves and ½ teaspoon salt, stirring until leaves wilt; stir in 1/3 cup water. Cover skillet and simmer 5 minutes or until stems and leaves are tender. Stir in raisins and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare polenta in microwave oven. In 4-quart microwave safe bowl, combine cornmeal ¾ teaspoon salt, milk, and 4 ½ cups water. Cover and cook on high 12 to 15 minutes, until thickened, stirring once.

To serve, stir Parmesan into polenta. Spoon polenta onto platter; top with Swiss-chard mixture and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve with additional Parmesan to sprinkle over each serving if you like. Serves 4.