My mother made minestra all the time when I was growing up and it was one of my favorite meals. In fact, it was the meal I most often requested she make as my birthday dinner. Maybe I was always a vegan at heart.

Over the years, as much as I tried, I couldn’t get the recipe to taste like Mom’s. I tried again this week. Nailed it. Buon appetito!

Minestra over Fried Polenta

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced into large chunks

2 cans of kidney beans, undrained

3 bunches of Swiss chard or endive, sliced into short ribbons (stems are okay)

3 ½ Tbs. olive oil, divided

1 Tbs. minced garlic

4 C. vegetable broth

Cornmeal polenta

  1. Heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a large skillet. Fry the potatoes until the outside is slightly crispy but not thoroughly cooked. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. In the same pan, heat up ½ Tbs. olive oil. Add greens and cook until wilted. In the last minute of cooking add minced garlic and stir to combine.
  3. Cook polenta according to instructions (I used 1 ½ cups of polenta). After polenta is cooked, press onto a floured surface into a 9×9” square. Polenta should be approximately 1” thick
  4. Sprinkle more flour on top of polenta and cut into 9 squares.
  5. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry polenta slices for 3 minutes on each side and move to paper towel to drain. You may need to add more oil to the pan as it gets absorbed by the polenta.
  6. Heat vegetable broth to boiling in a large pot and add potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes then add beans with their liquid, and greens and garlic mixture. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add salt and/or garlic powder to taste.
  7. Serve beans and greens over fried polenta.

Published by anewdayvegan

Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, and Rouxbe Culinary School's Professional Plant-Based Cooking, and Forks Over Knives programs. www.anewdayvegan.net

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