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We tend to use black kale (cavolo nero) for this recipe, but it works just as well with curly and red Russian varieties of kale. This is a versatile dish (see Tips below).

+ Ingredients

400g kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 dried chilli, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml double cream
1 tablespoon vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, to serve
TO SERVE:
750ml water
Salt

125g polenta

+ Method

First make the polenta. Bring the water to the boil and add a little salt. Slowly add the polenta, whisking as you pour it in. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes, whisking now and again. Pour into a greased baking tray 1“2cm deep and leave to cool. When cool, cut into
wedges and grill on a hot griddle for a few minutes on each side. Keep warm while you make the creamed kale.

Wash the kale in lots of cold water. Strip the leaves from the central rib. Discard the rib and drain the leaves.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the kale leaves and blanch them for 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then refresh under cold water and squeeze out any excess moisture. Chop the kale roughly.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic and chilli and stir for a minute. Add the chopped kale, season well and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the cream, then turn up the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. The cream should coat the kale.

Remove half the mixture and blend in a food processor or blender, then stir it back into the mixture in the pan. Season well and serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

TIPS
This makes a good pasta sauce for penne or Fresh Orecchiette. Try it mixed into wet polenta as an alternative to colcannon.

VARIATIONS
You can leave out the cream and add olive oil to make a lighter option for a pasta sauce, or to serve on bruschetta.

Add an egg yolk and bake in the oven, either in a gratin dish or in a tart shell.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes