Agrodolce Greens & Bacon on Polenta

Agrodolce Greens & Bacon on Polenta
  • 4Servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, guanciale or meaty bacon, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, Tuscan kale and/or mustard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • A little freshly grated or ground nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon acacia or other mild honey
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until crispy at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Stir a minute, then add the greens and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season the greens with the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup stock, the balsamic vinegar and honey; cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and the milk to a low boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook, whisking often, until thick, about 2 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cheese and butter; season.

Line shallow bowls with the polenta, making a well in the center. Pile the sweet-and-sour greens into the well, gently mounding in the center.