Soft Polenta with Roasted Smoky Chickpeas, Grape Tomatoes, Chard, and Creamy Basil Sauce
From Great Bowls of Food: "More magic from smoke! Smoked paprika gives familiar chickpeas a sexy, summery kiss of flavor. The soft, creamy polenta is purely comforting, and it cradles the chard and tomatoes like an Italian nonna’s bosom."
*I used Greekwhich created a thick, but delicious, sauce
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the cornmeal and ½ teaspoon salt, then gradually whisk in the water and milk. Over medium heat, whisk while it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to keep it just bubbling, and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir every 5 minutes for about 20 to 30 minutes. When it reaches the desired thickness, stir in Parmesan. Keep warm.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the drained chickpeas and shake in the pan, rolling them around until they start to pop and crackle. Cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly browned. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and ¼ teaspoon salt, then transfer to a bowl.
In a food processor, mince the basil and garlic. Add the chèvre and yogurt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and process until smooth.
In the large sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the chard until wilted and dark green, and add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
Serve ¼ of the polenta in each bowl, topped with ¼ of the chard and chickpeas, ¼ of the grape tomatoes, and drizzled with 3 tablespoons of basil sauce per bowl.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Countryman Press.