Greens are now beautifully abundant at the farmers’ market, and this recipe uses quite a lot of them, possibly a combination of three different bunches. Adding a little baking soda to the cooking water alkalizes it and keeps the greens bright. Nutritional yeast lends a cheesy flavor to the creamy grits, serving as a counterpoint to the sharp, spicy greens. The tofu pancetta is a fun finishing touch, although even without it, just a squeeze or two of fresh lemon would still be delightful.


2 cups water

2 cups plain nondairy milk

1 cup coarse or medium grind polenta (cornmeal)

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp. mellow white miso

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

In a large saucepan on high heat, bring all ingredients to a boil, whisking constantly until boiling. Turn the heat as low as possible, give it a few more stirs, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let rest while the greens are cooking.


1 ½ pounds sturdy greens such as collards, kale, mustard, chard (large stems removed)

1/8 tsp. baking soda

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 small chopped jalapeno (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon wedges for serving

1. Bring a vast cauldron of salted water to a boil, add the baking soda, and then add the greens. Cook for 5 minutes and drain well. When cool enough to handle, press as much water out of them as possible and chop them coarsely.

2. In a sauté pan, on medium heat, warm the oil and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.

3. Add the cooked greens to the sauté pan and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Place a pool of polenta in individual bowls, top with greens, and garnish with lemon wedges and pancetta.


2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. liquid smoke

½ tsp. black pepper

1 block extra-firm tofu, such as Heiwa, drained well and cut into tiny cubes

Whisk the first 8 ingredients (all but the tofu) together in a bowl. Stir in the tofu cubes and toss until evenly coated. Bake on a parchment-covered sheet pan at 325 degrees for 35 minutes, tossing around halfway through.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at