Hungry for something new? Look no further than a cookbook by renowned chef April Bloomfield of NYC’s Spotted Pig and the Breslin. Her latest book, A Girl and Her Greens, highlights vegetable-focused cuisine. Get green with this kale polenta recipe that’s perfect for your first outdoor dinners of the season and for your repertoire all year long.

In the U.S., polenta is typically served as a side dish. But in Italy, it is often the main attraction — a real showstopper. I’ve been seated at a table with friends when the cook arrived from the kitchen with the pot of polenta. Instead of ladling the polenta onto our empty plates, as I first expected, the cook poured the polenta from the pot straight onto a wooden board in the center of the table. Steamy and inviting, it crept outward like hot lava.

This take on polenta is a showstopper in its own right: Its striking green color is beautiful and unexpected. It’s so stunning, you can skip the board and just haul the pot to the table. The healthy dose of kale purée that colors the cornmeal adds lots of flavor, too. You taste the sweetness of the corn polenta first, then a hint of garlic and finally that green minerality of kale at the end.

As for the kale purée itself, if it weren’t for this dish, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was still a young cook in England wondering what I’d do next when I saw Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, chefs at London’s River Café, on the telly. At the time, food TV wasn’t all clever editing and pretty colors. Their show on the BBC just showed them cooking. I watched them make this four-ingredient purée and toss it in a pan with some penne. They were accomplished chefs, but the food they were making wasn’t complicated at all. I wanted to cook like that. So I called up River Café and talked my way into a tryout. I went on to work there, and Rose and Ruth became my mentors and friends. I’m grateful that they never tried my first go at the dish, which I cooked immediately after I switched off the telly. I used shit olive oil, and it wasn’t very good. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

Reprinted with permission from A Girl and Her Greens: Hearty Meals From the Garden