Polenta

Polenta topped with rapini:The rapini stalks are served whole over the polenta. For a richer polenta, stir in 4 ounces mascarpone and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

Cook: 12 minutes
Servings: 8

From Bar Ombra in Chicago. The rapini stalks are served whole over the polenta. For a richer polenta, stir in 4 ounces mascarpone and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan.

1 bunch rapini

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Pinch kosher salt

1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes

Zest of half a lemon

2 cups cooked soft polenta, see note

1. Break or cut the rapini into stalks. Trim the tough stems from the rapini, about the bottom quarter. Cook them in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, 2 minutes. Drain, save 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Cool rapini in an ice bath to set the color. Drain and dry rapini.

2. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic in a large skillet; turn heat to medium. When garlic begins to color, add rapini, reserved rapini cooking water and salt. Cook until rapini is tender and cooking water has evaporated.

3. Toss rapini with chili flakes, lemon zest and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt. Serve over hot polenta.

Note: Cook 1 cup instant polenta in 4 cups water, following package directions. You will have extra polenta for another meal.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 200 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 38 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 9 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.

Sweet and sour pumpkin stuzzichini

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Servings: 8