This recipe for Miso Polenta with Sautéed Greens is one of the most flavorful recipes I've created for this site. It also happens to be a completely vegan/ dairy free polenta recipe.
The recipe calls for two of my favorite umami-forward ingredients: grated garlic and miso paste. Plus, ginger, sautéed green vegetables, and an utterly divine garlicky pan sauce top the lusciously creamy miso polenta.
How to Make Miso Polenta with Sautéed Greens
- Make the polenta (this takes about 20 minutes)
- Stir in the miso and grated garlic and ginger
- Sauté the garlic and greens and deglaze with a little wine to make a luscious, flavorful pan sauce.
- Top the creamy dairy free polenta with the sautéed greens and pan sauce.
Why Vegan Miso Polenta?
I'll start by stating that I do not keep a vegan or dairy free diet. This miso polenta simply doesn't require dairy for 2 reasons:
- Polenta is naturally quite creamy! Frequently whisking the polenta and its starchy water creates a fluffy, creamy texture. In other words, polenta is creamy without the addition of cream and butter.
- What whisking does for creaminess, miso does for flavor. Traditional polenta uses Parmesan cheese as the primary flavoring ingredient. In this recipe miso takes the place of Parmesan cheese so beautifully. It's just as deliciously stinky and salty as aged Parmesan. After all, miso is fermented soy bean paste. Fermented and aged ingredients are incredible for adding complex, umami flavor to food.
What type of greens to pair with Dairy Free Polenta?
I've made this recipe so many times now, with many types of greens, including dandelion greens, spinach, and haricot verts (green beans). To be honest, I love each of them for different reasons.
- Dandelion greens: They're delightfully bitter, similar to broccoli rabe, which would also be an excellent vegetable to use in this recipe. The slight bitterness balances out the more salty and creamy flavors of the miso polenta.
- Spinach: It's a crowd pleaser, but it wilts a LOT. If you buy 6oz bags of spinach, make sure to use at least 2 of them. (Recipe calls for 1 lb or 16oz)
- Green beans: Green beans are another crowd pleaser, and they're hearty. So if you found this vegan polenta recipe because you are actually vegan, (unlike me) and want to bulk up your vegan meal, use them! The tender crisp texture acts as a nice contrast to the ultra smooth miso polenta.
What you'll need
How to Store Miso
I purchased the exact package of miso listed in the above Amazon suggestions, and I use it all the time to flavor things like vegetarian soup, this dairy free polenta, and many a stir fry. Like I mentioned earlier, it's a great ingredient to have on hand if you want to add complex umami flavor to your cooking.
But the package is large! So here's how to store miso: Simply transfer it into a large jar, press plastic wrap onto it, and cover it with the lid. It'll last in the fridge for many months. (I've been chipping away at the same 2lb supply for a year now).Print
Delicious, vegan polenta recipes are hard to find, but look no further. This dairy free, Ginger Miso Polenta with Sautéed Greens is loaded with delicious flavor and a creamy texture.
For the Ginger Miso Polenta
- 1 cup polenta (corn grits)
- 4.5 c water
- 1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and grated
- 2 Tb white or red miso
For the Sautéed Greens
- 1 lb of your favorite greens
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 gloves of garlic, sliced
- ½ c white wine
- Salt and black pepper
- Bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, slowly stir in the polenta with a whisk. Cover to simmer, lifting the lid every 2-3 minutes to whisk vigorously until polenta is cooked. This will take about 20 minutes.
- Once polenta is cooked, turn off the heat and whisk in the grated garlic, ginger, and miso paste. Cover and set aside while you sauté the greens.
- Heat 2 Tb olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté them for 1 minute, just enough to soften the garlic slightly but keep it from burning. (Garlic burns easily)
- Add your greens of choice, season with a big pinch of salt, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the garlic from burning.
- Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and cook until almost completely evaporated. If the greens are still too firm once the wine has evaporated, add a splash of water and continue to cook until greens are cooked to your desired doneness. (Pro tip- if at any point the liquid in the pan looks greasy or oily, add a small splash of water.)
- Spoon the polenta into a serving bowl and top with the sautéed greens and garlicky pan sauce.