This is a really tasty dish! Easy, too, as it calls for instant polenta, which cooks in a couple of minutes. You can also make this with regular polenta, in which case you would cook the polenta and kale separately, then combine them in the baking dish. The finished dish needs to sit for at least half an hour to firm up, so keep this in mind. As usual, most greens can be substituted, with only a variation in cooking time.
3-1/2 c water or broth
3 – 4 c finely chopped, stemmed kale or other greens
salt, to taste
1 T olive oil, plus extra for baking dish
1 c instant polenta
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or an 8-inch square baking dish with the extra olive oil.
2. Bring the 3-1/2 cups water or broth to the boil in a large pot. Add the kale, salt, and the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, about 6 minutes.
3. Lower the heat to low. Slowly add the polenta, stirring all the while, until smooth (this should take about a minute). Partially cover and cook until the polenta is thick, about 2 minutes. Or follow the package directions.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt if necessary. Scrape the mixture into the greased baking dish.
5. Bake until the polenta pie is firm and golden brown, anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. (The pie may not become “golden brown”–don’t worry.) Let the pie cool until barely warm, at least 30 minutes and up to several hours. (The polenta will firm up as it cools.) Cut into wedges and serve.