STREAMING NOW: Feed the Beast

"marco... Polenta!"

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“Start with the Italian cornmeal classic, polenta, and add the exotic new flavors of Marco Polo's journey to the East: chickpeas from Anatolia, spinach from Persia, cardamon from India and cinnamon from China. But don't worry, this recipe doesn't take years to complete! Prepared polenta and canned chickpeas make it easy (and nutritious).”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a boiler, simmer chickpeas, including liquid, with red pepper flakes and garlic for about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, drain spinach, reserving the liquid.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add cardamon and cook for about a minute (until the pods pop). Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add spinach, then cinammon and coriander. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about ten minutes, adding reserved spinach liquid as needed to keep the mixture moist.
  5. Meanwhile, slice and grill polenta, using a dry skillet or stovetop grill.
  6. Drain chickpeas and add to the spinach mixture.
  7. Prepare for serving by placing two slices of polenta on each plate. Use a slotted spoon to drain the spinach and chickpea mixture, and top each slice of polenta.
  8. (Preparation notes: If you're limited for time, you can skip the step of. seasoning the chickpeas separately. Prepare the spinach topping with the pepper and garlic, then add the chickpeas toward the end so that they are heated. Polenta can be baked rather than grilled.).
  9. (Ingredient notes: Fresh, firm, polenta can be substituted for prepared.
  10. One cup dried chickpeas can be substituted for canned, by soaking overnight and then cooking until tender. One pound fresh spinach, wash and deveined, can be substituted for frozen. Dried ground cardamon and ginger can be substituted for fresh.).

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a