Blue Cheese Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash

Did someone say winter comfort food?

I have never been a huge fan of the idea of polenta but it’s really something you should try. I did and now I’m in love and currently imaging all the new things I can do with this easy, starchy side. Made right, it can be a great substitute for pasta or rice and make a stylish and satisfying vegetarian entree. You can substitute the blue cheese for goats cheese, however I wouldn’t ommit cheese all together unless you are looking for a vegan alternative because the cheese really smooths it out. If you are vegan, I would suggest a few tablespoons of EarthBalance margarine (or olive oil) and some nutch for the salty taste and creamier texture. Add those the alternative ingredients at the end where the recipe calls for the blue cheese.

Blue Cheese Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Polenta recipe adapted from the The Spice House

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 75 grams of rennet free or vegetable rennet blue cheese, crumbled
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method

Wash and peel a medium sized butternut squash, 2 large carrots and one medium onions. Cut into bit sized pieces, toss with oil, a bit of rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast in an oven at 350 for about 30 minutes turning once. Set aside and cool.

For the polenta, bring vegetable stock, garlic and green onions to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in cornmeal, slowly, to avoid a lumpy texture. Reduce heat, and whisk continuously as the polenta cooks. It will thicken and the will grain soften. The bubbling sound is what you would imaging a witches brew or mud bubbling would sound like.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in crumbled blue cheese about 1/3 at a time, crumbling as you go. Once the first batch is melted and combined with the polenta go onto the next. Season with lots of fresh ground black pepper and add your roasted squash, onions and carrots.

Serve immediately with sauteed/steamed kale. Sprinkle with any remaining blue cheese. This would also be good served with a simple grilled eggplant, zucchini or a portabello mushroom cap as a main.

 

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