By Carla Lalli Music for Bon Appétit

Serves 2 – 4

I stumbled across this recipe on a Bon Appetite binge. Carla, a BA Food Director, is probably best known for her ” <insert celebrity> Tried to Keep Up with a Professional Chef” videos, leading Troye Sivan through chicken butchery and Miz Cracker through the ins and outs of a pasta roller. Carla is the cross between Italian mother and sassy pal that we all need with us in the kitchen. In case it’s not clear; I’m a fan. Carla’s new book, “Where Cooking Begins,” will be released on March 18, 2019, and I’m praying she does a global book tour.

This recipe called for rainbow chard. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I found this near impossible find in the West of Scotland. What I didn’t have in abundance, however, was leeks and Curly Kale. After trying the recipe a few times I made two slight alterations. Fresh leeks give such a strong herbaceous tang that it all becomes a bit much with garlic and parmesan. Dropping the garlic made it lighter. Don’t worry – there’s no shortage of flavour. I also added a lot more water than called for. The original 4 cups resulted in a stogey clump, as opposed to the fluffy, flavourful mash we need.


  • 1 cup polenta
  •  4.5 – 5 cups water
  • 1 large Leek
  • 2 stalks of Curly Kale
  • Olive oil (or other oils – butter, coconut oil, vegetable oil, its just a matter of taste)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chilli flakes
  • Parsley, Chives and Basil
  • A handful of grated parmesan cheese


Directions 1. Place water and polenta in a conventional pressure cooker, bring pressure to high, and begin timing. Cook for 9 minutes  2. Meanwhile, stem the washed kale, and finely dice the stems and cut the leeks into strips  3. Heat oil in a large pot. Add the chile flakes, watching carefully that it doesn’t burn (about a minute), then add the leeks and kale 4. After time is up, quick-release pressure cooker, and open lid. Whisk polenta well, then add a handful of grated parmesan. Taste and adjust salt, then add chopped herbs (parsley, chives, and basil). 5. To serve, place a large glop of herbed, cheesy polenta in a bowl and top with sautéed greens.

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