These Breakfast Polenta Bowls are loaded with cheesy, smooth polenta, meaty maple sausage, and earthy kale. Topped with a silky, runny poached egg and rich sundried tomato pesto, these bowls are hearty, comforting breakfast perfection.
1(1 pound) packageprepared Polenta– roughly chopped into cubes
1Cup2% Milk(can substitute vegetable stock or water)
1teaspoonFresh Thyme leaves
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1TBSPure Maple Syrup
½large bunchKale(about ½ pound) – thick stems removed & discarded, kale coarsely chopped
1smallYellow Onion– diced
Sundried Tomato Pesto:
½CupOil Packed Sundried Tomatoes
Scant ¼ CupParmesan Cheese– freshly grated
4TBSOil from Sundried Tomato Jar*
Prepare the Sundried Tomato Pesto: In the bowl of a food processor add sundried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth, combined and paste-like*.
For Polenta: In a large saucepan bring ½ cup water, milk and butter to a rapid simmer over medium high heat. Add in prepared polenta and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly until polenta is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree until creamy. Stir in fontina cheese, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Cover and keep warm, stirring from time to time
Meanwhile, Cook Sausage and Kale: Heat a splash of oil in a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and season with paprika, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cook until browned, using the edge of a spatula to break into crumbles, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium (add a splash of oil if pan is dry) and add the diced onion. Cook until onions begin to color, about 7-8 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds-1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high and add in the kale and ½ cup chicken stock. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and soft, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer kale to plate with sausage. Tent gently with aluminum foil
And Poach the Eggs: Fill a medium pot with about 2-3’’ of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat until it is barely simmering (180-190 F). Break egg into a small bowl and then transfer to a fine mesh strainer. Carefully swirl the egg around the strainer to remove an excess whites. Carefully tip the strainer into the water to add the egg. Swirl gently with a wooden spoon for a few seconds. Repeat straining and adding with remaining eggs. Cook, swirling water occasionally, until egg whites are set but yolks are soft, 4 ½ minutes for runny yolks or 5 ½ minutes for set yolks. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Assemble the bowls: Divide polenta between serving bowls. Top with a sausage, sautéed kale and a poached egg. Finish with sundried tomato pesto.
*Polenta cooking may vary depending on brand. Check instructions labeled on package. Adjust accordingly and stir in fontina and thyme as instructed in recipe. *If a thinner sundried tomato pesto is desired, add more olive oil to food processor, a little bit at a time. *Leftover polenta can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, stir in a splash of milk and microwave until warm throughout. *Sautéed Sausage and kale can be made in advance and stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. *Pesto will keep, covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.*Nutritional Information includes everything, even the pesto.