Braised Black Bean Stew with Cheesy Spinach Polenta and Fried Shallots
A cozy braised black bean stew served over cheesy spinach polenta and topped with crispy fried shallots.
Yield: 4 servings
For the stew
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn
For the polenta
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely ground polenta
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 8 oz grated cheddar cheese
For the crispy shallots
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add the minced shallot along with a pinch of salt. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in the cherry tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and coriander. Saute until tomatoes start to burst and release some of their juice, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the beans and vegetable broth. Mash about a half cup of the beans against the side of the pot to help thicken the stew. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until thick. Add the frozen corn to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until corn is warmed through.
  3. To make the polenta, in a separate pot bring the water and salt to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the polenta in an even stream, whisking constantly as you do so. Return to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and polenta is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes depending on how coarsely ground your polenta is. Stir in the baby spinach and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted and fully combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. To make the crispy shallots, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the sliced shallots to the pan and saute until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
  5. Divide the polenta evenly among four bowls. Top with the black bean stew and the crispy shallots. Serve warm.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at