This two-tone polenta from Friulian winemaker Giampaolo Venica is incredibly easy to make: Just mix half of the polenta with pureed raw chard and the other half with pureed raw beet. The resulting dish, topped with thinly sliced ricotta salata, echoes the colors of the Italian flag.
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1 1/2 cups stone-ground white polenta
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped stemmed Swiss chard leaves
1 small red beet, peeled and chopped
3 ounces ricotta salata cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled
Baby arugula, for garnish
How to Make It
In a saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Slowly drizzle in the polenta, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until tender and thickened, 20 minutes. Stir in the butter, 2 tablespoons of oil and the grated cheese; season with salt and pepper.
In a blender, puree the Swiss chard with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Scrape into a small bowl. Wipe out the blender. Add the beet and 1/2 cup of water and puree until smooth. Scrape into another small bowl.
Pour half of the polenta into a bowl. Add the chard puree to the remaining polenta in the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until well blended, 2 minutes. Mound the chard polenta on one side of each of 6 shallow bowls. Rinse out the saucepan and add the reserved polenta and beet puree. Cook over low heat, stirring, until blended, 2 minutes. Spoon the beet polenta next to the chard polenta. Top with the ricotta salata, garnish with arugula and drizzle with oil. Season with pepper and serve.
The chard and beet polentas can be refrigerated separately for 2 days. Reheat before serving, adding water if necessary.
Brisk Friulian white.
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