The City Magazine Since 1975

Polenta di Riso with Kale, Garlic, & Fines Herbes

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For the rice:
4 cups water
1 cup Anson Mills Polenta di Riso
1 fresh bay leaf, broken in half
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper

For the kale:
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
12 kale leaves, about six inches long, stems  removed
11/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and white pepper


For the roasted garlic vinaigrette:
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs thyme
1 cup plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. espelette pepper


For the fines herbes:
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces of chive
1/2 cup fresh chervil leaves
1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper


For the rice:
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk the Polenta di Riso into the boiling water until combined. Add the bay leaf. Bring it to a boil, turn off heat, and let the saucepan sit uncovered. Stir it occasionally. After about 20 minutes, the liquid should be absorbed and the Polenta di Riso should be tender and smooth.

For the kale:
Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted and tender, about five minutes. Add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the kale from the pan and place on paper towels to drain off excess fat.  

For the roasted garlic vinaigrette:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut a six-by-six-inch piece of aluminum foil and place the garlic cloves, thyme, and a teaspoon of the olive oil on it. Seal the ends of the foil so that they are completely closed. Roast the garlic for one hour, or until the cloves are caramel in color and very soft. Remove from oven, open, discard the thyme, and let the garlic cool to room temperature. Roughly chop it and place in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in the remaining cup of olive oil, vinegar, and espelette pepper with a spoon. This is a “broken vinaigrette.” You do not want to whisk or beat it to emulsify it.  

To serve: Spoon equal amounts of Polenta di Riso onto each plate. Arrange the sautéed kale leaves on top in a halo. Drizzle roasted garlic vinaigrette to evenly coat the kale leaves. Toss the fines herbes in a small bowl with some of the roasted garlic vinaigrette. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish the kale leaves with the fines herbes.