This is a rustic dinner at it's best.  It's what I might imagine myself eating if I were wandering through the vineyards of Tuscany and someone invited me into their humble home.  A one bowl dish of hearty and healthy fare.  This with a glass of chianti and some new friends would make for a full and satisfied stomach and a feeling of warm content.


Alas I'm not in Tuscany and this was made in my kitchen with ingredients from the super market as opposed to a homegrown garden.  And yet it is still chock full of flavor and texture, enough to satisfy me anytime of year.



Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes

Originally from

Servings: 4 1 28-ounce can San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 cup instant polenta

Freshly ground pepper

2 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 pounds) (I used red Swiss chard)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 7.5-ounce package farmer cheese, crumbled (I used feta instead)


Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450. Toss the tomatoes, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large ovenproof skillet. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes are charred around the edges, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 but keep the tomatoes inside.


Meanwhile, bring 5 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta until smooth and creamy. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Slice the chard leaves into wide strips and the stems into 1-inch pieces. Boil the stems until almost tender, about 5 minutes, then add the leaves and cook until both are tender, about 3 more minutes. Drain the chard.


Remove the skillet from the oven and place over medium-high heat. Push the tomatoes to one side, add the butter and swirl until the butter is golden brown. Add the chard and toss to coat. Divide the polenta among 4 bowls. Top with the tomatoes and chard. Season the cheese with salt and sprinkle over the top.

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