Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup chard mixture, 1/2 cup polenta, and 1 tablespoon parmesan)

Any bitter green makes a great companion for the rich, creamy polenta, says Chiarello. Choose kale, broccoli rabe, or mustard greens in place of the chard.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pancetta in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until crisp (about 10 minutes). Remove pancetta from pan.

Step 2

Add garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cook until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup (about 5 minutes).

Step 3

Add chard, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until chard is tender. Serve over Soft Polenta; top with pancetta and Parmesan.

Step 4

(Totals include Soft Polenta)

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Ratings & Reviews

mamaj001's Review

January 04, 2014
My husband and I love this dish of comfort food. A fantastic introduction to Swiss Chard. I use a ratio of 5 cups water to 1 cup polenta taking 45 min. to cook, adding more water if needed. That is the key for creamy polenta.

pdxoxs's Review

February 06, 2013
I chose this recipe specifically because of the praise for poletna, and I am glad I did. For this recipe I used Boars Head Pancetta and Dellalo Polenta, which was more expensive, but I did notice that it was slightly smaller grain than cornmeal. This recipe was quick and easy to make, and very easy to make look elegant, especially if you shape the polenta with the 1/2 c. measure. My recipe turned out just a tad bit salty, and next time I would probably reduce unnecessary salt, or find a lower sodium pancetta, but for the time being I reduced the amount of pancetta that I added on top and that worked just fine. I found that the ingredients worked very well together, and I was quite surprised to pick up the flavors of the parmesan. When all was done, this recipe cost about 2.73 per meal. This also worked well as leftovers.

SuzanneM's Review

July 23, 2012
Oh my, this was so!! good. It had all the qualifications of a good recipe: easy to prepare, easy-to-get ingredients, not much chopping, and only 2 pans, all working together to make a really delicious meal that tastes much more complex than it is.. Fresh ingredients, simply and tastily prepared. I did make a few changes, using prosciutto instead of pancetta and adding a red bell pepper (for color and added vegetable bulk). I liked that one could use any appropriate green-I used collards (had them fresh, and increased cooking time by about a minute). The cheese was extra flavor, but not essential to the totality of the dish. This dish will work in any season. Excellent, but one could expect no less less from Michael Chiarello.

dkates's Review

March 03, 2012
I decided to try this recipe, when I received swiss chard in my farm shares. I had no idea how all the flavors would combine, but together they were fantastic. This recipe has an Italian flair. It tastes surprisingly creamy, rich, and sinful for a CL recipe.

dalym11's Review

July 20, 2011
Yummyyumyumyumyum! This was a total CL win--super delicious, easy, and just slightly over 300 calories a serving. Of course, one of the ways CL manages to keep its stats so low is with portion control...and trust me, it is VERY difficult to control your portions on this yummy dish! Fortunately, the polenta is very filling. It's easy to make the polenta and topping simultaneously (which really you need to do so the polenta doesn't get hard and gross), as long as you make sure to prep and stage everything ahead of time (mis en place, for you cooking snobs) . I ended up using way more liquid than the polenta recipe called for, adding little by little as time went on. Use your judgement with this one--the polenta should be similar to risotto in viscosity--spreads out somewhat on the plate while still holding its shape. (portion x-posted from

JessicaJJM's Review

June 29, 2011
First time making polenta. Heated polenta and mixed with broth from recipe. Used bacon. Good. Will make again next summer.

lizencarn's Review

April 07, 2011
Got gorgeous rainbow Swiss chard in my farm share box this week after receiving polenta flour from a friend the week before, so this recipe was a perfect fit—already had all the ingredients. Love the contrast between the grainy texture of the polenta and the crisp, flat chard. The broth helped give the polenta good flavor, and the chard had a brighter flavor than other recipes for greens I've tried in previous weeks. I substituted this recipe for Soft Polenta, which uses less water & conformed more to other recipes, but eliminated the cheese: I also roasted the removed chard stems at 400° for 20 mins with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated Parm, and it made a fantastic appetizer. Highly recommend!

SDawsonH's Review

August 29, 2010
What do you do when your CSA gives you swiss chard? MAKE THIS RECIPE! It is truly yummy and filling. I will make it again the next chance I get to have some swiss chard on hand. I do not have consistent access to pancetta,so I used some high-end bacon and it was still excellent!

kateford's Review

February 24, 2010
Yum! I substituted kale for the chard, but otherwise following the recipe as written. It was so good, comforting and very filling. I will definitely make this again!!!!