Pecan Polenta with Crispy Kale

Total Time:
40 minutes
Skill Level:

Traditional polenta gets a pecan boost! Toasting pecans amplifies their naturally sweet flavor making them a great addition to creamy polenta. Add a pop of color and interest with some crispy, roasted kale.


1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted, divided – Pecan Pieces
2 cups water
1/2 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 cups chopped stemmed Lacinato (also known as dinosaur) kale
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/8 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Crushed red pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 425’F.
Bring the water to a boil in a 2-3 quartsauce pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the polenta and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Keep whisking until combined. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 10 minutes, until softened, about 30 minutes.
While the polenta is cooking, make the kale. Combine kale with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread kale out evenly onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack
Stir parmesan cheese into polenta. Finely chop ¼ cup of the pecan pieces and add to the polenta; stir to combine.
Portion polenta onto plates, top with kale and remaining pecan pieces then drizzle with remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Garnish with crushed red pepper, if desired.

Created by: American Pecan Council

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