Spicy Rainbow Chard with Bacon and Polenta

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Robyn Valarik

For an easy vegetarian version of this hearty main dish, omit the bacon and add a little more olive oil when you sauté the shallot mixture.

Yield: Serves 4
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 30 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 358
  • Calories from fat: 39%
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 6.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 40g
  • Fiber: 4.5g
  • Sodium: 957mg
  • Cholesterol: 30mg


  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 slices (6 oz.) thick-cut bacon
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large bunches (1 1/2 lbs. total) rainbow chard, ribs cut into 1/4-in. pieces and leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  1. 1. Cook polenta with salt as package directs.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large frying pan until crisp. Transfer to paper towels.
  3. 3. Discard fat from pan. Heat oil in same pan over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic, and chard ribs until softened, 4 minutes. Stir in chard leaves, chile flakes, and 1/3 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until wilted.
  4. 4. Stir butter and cheese into polenta and spoon into bowls. Toss chard with vinegar and spoon over polenta. Crumble bacon and sprinkle on top.
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