Polenta with Leeks, Endive, Pancetta & Poached Eggs
Recipe type: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian, Winter, Comfort Food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Creamy mascarpone polenta is topped with sautéed leeks, endive, crispy pancetta, and a poached egg for a dish that couldn't be more comforting on a frigidly cold winter day.
  • about 5 c. Water or Stock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ¾ tsp. Kosher Salt (less if you're using stock)
  • 1 c. Polenta (I used coarsely ground here)
  • ¼ c. Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1¼ in. thick slice Pancetta, cut into ¼ in. cubes
  • 2 Leeks, white and pale green parts cut in ¼ in. slices
  • 2 Belgian Endive, leaves roughly chopped
  • 4 Eggs
  • about 1 Tbsp. White Vinegar
  1. First, start the polenta. Bring the water or stock to a boil with the bay leaves and salt. Slowly pour in the polenta while whisking. Reduce the heat so the mixture is gently bubbling. Cook, stirring often, until the polenta is smooth and creamy, 30-45 minutes. If it starts to feel too dry, splash in a little more water and stir quickly to incorporate. When it's done cooking, take it off the heat and stir in the mascarpone. Taste and season, as needed.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings. Sauté the pancetta in a large skillet until it's crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and add the sliced leeks. Sauté over medium-high heat until they've wilted and caramelized in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped endive, season with a pinch of salt, and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta back to the pan and allow it to reheat for a moment.
  3. While you've got the endive sautéing, poach the eggs. Bring a large, deep skillet or saucepan of water with a splash of vinegar to a simmer. Crack each egg into a coffee cup or small bowl and gently lower into the simmering water. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and allow to poach for 4-5 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on a paper towel for a moment.
  4. Divide the polenta between warm bowls. Spoon the sautéed vegetables and pancetta over the polenta and top each bowl with a poached egg.
Recipe by strawberryplum at http://www.strawberryplum.com/polenta-with-leeks-endive-pancetta-poached-eggs/