Polenta-Stuffed Swiss Chard with Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

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Here is one for all you garlic lovers!

Walking into a house to the smell of garlic roasting in the oven is so pleasing and comforting.

Garlic is said to have many healing properties and it is my go-to remedy when I start feeling a cold coming on.   My mom gave used to give it this to me as a kid and I still use it today.   You chop up a clove of garlic, put it on a spoon with a little raw honey on top and swallow it down.   I swear by it.   If you are worried about garlic breath, just have your significant other do it too.

This is such a great meal and not too time consuming.  I love polenta (as  you may have noticed) and how versatile it is.  You can eat a bowl of it like porridge with raisins and nuts, or with melted cheese and basil,  you can put it in the fridge so it gets hard and  make polenta cakes or fries, or as you will see here, you can use it as a stuffing.    This is another recipe I adapted from RIPE by Cherly Sternman Rule.  I have tried this with Chard and with Kale and while both taste great, the Chard leaves are bigger and make for easier burrito wrapping.  You could top if with your favorite tomato sauce if you don’t have time to make mine.  One night I was in a hurry and I used a spicy salsa and that tasted great too.  So do what you have time for.

Happy Eating!

Polenta-Stuffed Chard(serves 4-6)

3/4 Cup of Polenta-   the cooked polenta needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour

1 TBS Butter

1 tsp salt

pepper

1 Cup grated Parmesan  -divided

6 Large leaves Swiss Chard

Garlic Roasted Tomato Sauce (makes about a cup and a half)

1 Onion,  thinly sliced

4 Large Tomatoes

2 whole, unpeeled Garlic Cloves, top 1/4 inch chopped off

1/8 + Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 TBS Vegetable Broth or Water – or more

salt and pepper to taste

To Make Tomato Sauce: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   On a baking pan, lay out a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleaning).   Lay out the onions.  Core and quarter the tomatoes and lay on top of the onions.  Place the garlic bulbs around the tomatoes and drizzle olive oil on top, and sprinkle with salt.   Bake for 45 minutes or until tomatoes look shriveled.    Squeeze out the insides of the garlic cloves into a blender.  Put the tomatoes and onions in the the blender and all the juices.  Blend until smooth.

To make the Polenta-Stuffed Swiss Chard: In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt to a boil.  Whisk in the polenta and reduce heat.  Cook until thick, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Remove from heat, stir in the butter and 1/2 cup of  grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of pepper.     Let cool for a 10 minutes.   Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a square pan.  Pour the polenta into the pan and smooth the top.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and boil some water.   Remove the thick stem on each piece of Chard by making  a v-shaped cup down the middle.  Put leaves in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.   This makes the leaves easier to work with.  Remove after 3-4 minutes and pat dry.     Cut the Polenta into about 8 rectangular pieces.   If the piece is too big for the Chard, just make it smaller.

Spoon 1/4 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.  Lay a piece of chard on a cutting board and place a piece of Polenta horizontally on the bottom part of the leave.  Fold the leave on each side over the polenta, encasing it as you would make a burrito.  Transfer to the baking pan, seam side down.  Repeat until finished.   Pour another 1/4- 1/2 cup of sauce over top the chard burritos and then sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, the put under the broiler for another 1-3 minutes to brown the cheese.  Serve hot.

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