This is one of my favorite recipes, full of Mediterranean flavor and high in calcium. It uses pecorino romano, a salty parmesan-like hard cheese made of sheep's milk. I used a goat's milk feta but you can use any type of feta you can find. It calls for lacinato kale (a/k/a dinosaur kale) which is preferable if you can find it - If not, use regular curly-leaf kale. This recipe calls for a tube of pre-made, ready-to-slice polenta which you can find online or at most health food or gourmet food stores and some mainstream groceries. I use the traditional polenta (unflavored) from Food Merchants. If you have the time, you can make polenta from scratch, spread it on a baking sheet in a 1/4" layer while it's still hot, refrigerate it until firm, and use a juice glass to cut small disks out of the polenta. Enjoy!
- 1 (18 ounce) package prepared polenta (in a tube)
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, chopped finely
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, shredded
- 1⁄4 cup pitted kalamata olive, chopped finely
- 1 1⁄4 cups feta cheese, mashed with fork
- extra virgin olive oil, to grease baking pan
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high flame. Sauté onions and rosemary until the onions begin to brown. Add garlic and carrots. Sauté until garlic fragrances the oil, about 2 minutes. Add kale and sauté until tender, then remove pan from heat.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 8x8-inch baking dish. Cut polenta into slices no thicker than 1/4 inch. Line the bottom of the pan with 1/2 of the polenta slices, overlapping them slightly to cover the whole bottom of the pan.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the polenta and spread it evenly. Distribute mashed feta cheese over the marinara sauce. Scatter olives over the feta, then top with an even layer of the kale mixture. Place the remaining polenta slices in a layer, overlapping slightly. Spread remaining 1/2 cup of marinara sauce. Sprinkle shredded pecorino evenly across the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the top layer of cheese is beginning to brown around the edges. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving (use a spatula).
This is a very intense, extremely salty dish. And I'm a saltaholic. I cut down the feta to 1 cup (would reduce even more next time), subbed chard for kale cuz that's what I have in my garden and parmesan for the romano. My biggest beef with this recipe other than the salt is the serving size. For me, one little "sandwich" of polenta is not enough for a main dish. This recipe didn't fill out even my small casserole. A lot of effort for such little output. Next time I would double or treble the recipe, reduce the feta. and freeze. DH loved it.
Great dish!!!! I made some substitutions because I wanted to use some ingredients that I had on hand. I made the polenta myself (with milk, not water); instead of marinara sauce I used a can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes; spinach in place of kale. Definitely a keeper. Thank you.
I made this recipe but substituted eggplant instead of kale(breaded and fried.It was gone in a flash!Next time I'm going to try green squash.I also used parmesan instead of Feta.It was delicious and not at all too salty.The olives blended perfectly.