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Southern-Style Greens with Polenta Croutons (Vegan)

appetie-for-peace-vegan-polenta-greens-recipeThis recipe serves 4.

In the South, hearty greens are cooked low and slow in a lot of water to make a rich-tasting broth.
Here, we’ve added beans and crisp polenta cubes (a ready-made stand-in for grits) for a comfort-food dish with a modern twist.

  • ½ cup dry adzuki beans
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • ¾ cup diced tomatoes (½ 15-oz. can)
  • 12-oz. bunch curly kale or collards, thinly sliced (8 cups)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno chile, or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • 1 16-oz. pkg. prepared polenta, cut into ¾-inch cubes



1) Soak beans in 4 cups cold water in bowl overnight, drain.

2) Bring beans and 4 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Drain, and keep warm, or store in refrigerator or freezer.

3) Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 7 to 9 minutes, or until beginning to turn deep brown on edges. Add tomatoes, and cook 1 minute,
or until liquid has evaporated. Add kale, broth, garlic, jalapeño, and 2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, if using. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until kale is very tender.

4) Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add polenta cubes and cook 6 to 7 minutes, gently separating (but not stirring) cubes to prevent sticking. Turn polenta cubes, and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until two or more sides are browned, turning as needed.

5) To serve: Ladle 1 cup kale and cooking liquid into bowl. Spoon ¼ cup beans on top, and scatter each serving with polenta cubes.