In the South, hearty greens are cooked low and slow in a lot of water to make a rich-tasting broth. Here, we’ve added beans and crisp polenta cubes (a ready-made stand-in for grits) for a comfort-food dish with a modern twist.
1 Soak beans in 4 cups cold water in bowl overnight, drain.
2 Bring beans and 4 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Drain, and keep warm, or store in refrigerator or freezer.
3 Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 7 to 9 minutes, or until beginning to turn deep brown on edges. Add tomatoes, and cook 1 minute,
or until liquid has evaporated. Add kale, broth, garlic, jalapeño,
and 2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, if using. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until kale
is very tender.
4 Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add polenta cubes and cook 6 to 7 minutes, gently separating (but not stirring) cubes to prevent sticking. Turn polenta cubes, and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until two or more sides are browned, turning as needed.
5 To serve: Ladle 1 cup kale and cooking liquid into bowl. Spoon
¼ cup beans on top, and scatter each serving with polenta cubes.