A quick-and-easy way to make tasty soft polenta: Use a packaged, precooked polenta “log” cooked with homemade vegetable stock or store-bought broth and springtime vegetables. If you’ve never used green garlic, you’re in for a treat: It is milder and easier to use than dried—you chop the fresh garlic head without having to peel individual cloves. Most people double-shell fresh fava beans, available at farmers’ markets in spring, but I remove only the outer pod, which makes them much easier to prepare (you can substitute edamame or peas for the favas, if you like). Serve the polenta over a bed of garlicky greens and/or your favorite grain.
- extra-virgin olive oil
- spring onion or regular onion, sliced into half-moons
- green onions, white and green parts, cut into 1-in. lengths
- green garlic, white and light green parts, diced, or dried garlic cloves
- tomato paste
- packaged precooked polenta, diced
- fresh fava beans, edamame, or peas
- homemade stock, store-bought broth, or water
- chipotle chiles (optional)
- fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the spring onion and the white parts of the green onions and cook until softened and beginning to brown. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the tops of the green onions, the green garlic, tomato paste, polenta, and fava beans and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the broth and the chiles, if using, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the polenta is creamy and all of the vegetables are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with parsley.