Polenta Recipe with Leeks, Wilted Greens and Mushrooms

Use chard, beet and dandelion greens for a fresh spring taste in this polenta recipe with leeks, wilted greens and mushrooms.

| May/June 2003

Spinach can be used for this dish, but chard, beet, and dandelion greens are even better this time of year—and they add wonderful nutrients. The herbs in the polenta add a sprightly flavor; use one or a combination. The polenta can be served homestyle straight from the pot—soft and thick—with the topping spooned over all, or prepared in advance as described here. If time is short, buy prepared polenta at the grocery store. While your topping is cooking, slice and sauté or grill the polenta.

For more light, fresh recipes see Spring Fresh: Light Spring Recipes.

Polenta Recipe with Leeks, Wilted Greens and Mushrooms


• 1 1/2 quarts water
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
• About 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley and chives
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 leeks, rinsed and cleaned, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
• 2 bunches beet greens and 1 bunch chard, spinach, or dandelion greens, cleaned, stems removed, and chopped (or use an equivalent amount of spinach only)
• 3 large cloves garlic, minced
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• About 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms: oyster, morels, shiitake, or cremini, cleaned and sliced

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