the thin chef

True Grit

We love a good brinner (breakfast for dinner) in this house. But it’s not always the most balanced meal to have at the end of the day. I can’t think of many veggies outside of hash browns (and even that’s a stretch) that are typically considered breakfast food.

My solution? Take morning meal staples and add something green to make it healthy. Parmesan polenta is the Italian answer to cheese grits, and it makes a perfect base for vegetables of all kinds. Braised collards are a favorite, but roasted broccoli or sautéed spinach are also perfect toppers that can be swirled into the creamy polenta. Add over-easy fried eggs (or poached, if you’re counting calories) for protein, letting the golden yolks form a rich sauce over the whole bowl. It’s simple, satisfying and something a little different for a midweek dinner.

P.S. If you’re pregnant, or if your immune system is compromised, you should cook your egg yolks completely. And I demand strongly encourage you buy organic/antibiotic-free eggs from local farms, especially if you prefer your yolks runny like I do.

Parmesan Polenta with Braised Greens and Eggs
Serves 4
Look for instant polenta on the pasta aisle, or near the cornmeal and grits.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large bunch collard greens, leaves stripped from tough inner ribs and thinly sliced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup water
2 cups milk (2% or whole is best)
1 cup instant polenta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Coarse salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
8 eggs
Hot sauce, for serving

  1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan with a lid over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes more. Add collards, and cook until they turn bright green. Add 1 cup chicken broth and the water. Cover pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring remaining 2 cups chicken broth and milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in polenta. Lower heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and butter. Add coarse salt and black pepper to taste. Cover, and set aside.
  3. Fry eggs 2 at a time in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Divide polenta among 4 shallow bowls. Top with braised greens, and then top each serving with 2 eggs. Serve with additional Parmesan and plenty of hot sauce.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 at 1:15 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


6 Responses to “True Grit”

  1. Katie Says:

    This looks so good! Do you think kale would work with this recipe? My collards aren’t ready yet, but I have tons of kale.

  2. Daria Says:

    How strange that you would post this when just yesterday I was trying to remember where I had seen a recipe where someone had put a poached egg over greens. And I could not remember the blog or website! I like the idea of adding the polenta base also. I may try this tomorrow night.

  3. Kristin Says:

    Whenever I get knocked up, I refuse to give up runny egg yolks. They haven’t made me sick yet! :) And, I strangely looooooove greens for breakfast… fried eggs with sauteed garlic spinach or kale floats my boat. Throw in some bacon, and you’ve got one happy camper. The polenta looks delicious, but would have to be one of my cheat meals. :)

  4. thunja Says:

    I love everything about this idea. It’s a Sunday supper for us.
    Tom your carpenters wife. (tee hee)

  5. David Says:

    Man, I am going to try this one this weekend. Looks stinkin’ amazing.

  6. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets Says:

    Oh yum! This is my kind of comfort food =). Love your previous post’s tart, too!