Monday, February 1, 2010

Butternut Squash Polenta

This polenta is really tasty. Polenta is really tasty on it's own without squash. And cooking it in the oven makes it a super simple dish to prepare. The addition of the squash just gives it an extra body and smoothness that makes it really special.

Butternut Squash Polenta

2 Cups Stock or Broth (Veggie or Chicken)
1 1/4 Cups Water
1 Cup Polenta
1 Tbsp Butter
1/4-1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Medium Butternut Squash
Olive Oil for Rubbing the Squash
1/2 Cup or so Water
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350

Cut in half and seed the squash. Rub the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put cut-side down in a baking dish and add about 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid or foil, and bake until very soft, 40-60 minutes. When the squash is done cooking, remove it to a plate to cool, then scoop out the flesh, mash with a fork, and set aside. Alternatively, if you don't have room in the oven while the polenta is baking, you can cook the squash in the microwave: put in the halved, seeded squash and 1/2 cup water in a microwave safe dish with a lid or cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 10-15 minutes until very soft.

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Pour in the stock or broth and water. Stir in the polenta and 1 Tbsp of butter. Bake the polenta for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the cheese. The polenta may be cooked at this point, if it is not, return it to the over for another 10 minutes.

When the polenta is done cooking, stir in the squash. Adjust seasoning as needed and serve.

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