Monday, January 4, 2010

Roasted Winter Vegetables over Polenta

I realize my blog is starting to look like the What-to-Serve-Over-Polenta blog.  I can't help it.  Polenta is just that good.  It's kind of like pasta - a great bed to host any delectable topping you choose to accompany it. 

I am cheating a little bit in calling these "winter" vegetables, since green beans are not really a winter vegetable.  But I wanted something green to provide some color contrast, and they are delicious little beasts.  Halved brussels sprouts would be magical in this dish.  The original recipe called for cauliflower, but I'm still having trouble getting out of the "meh" camp when it comes to cauliflower.  Forgive me. 

You can cook the polenta whatever way you like - the stovetop method is probably best here, since you have to roast the vegetables at such a high temperature that the polenta would cook too fast if you had it in the oven, too.   But experiment and see what you like. 

Here it is, then, another lovely and simple meal with lovely, versatile polenta as the base.

Roasted Winter Vegetables over Polenta
adapted from Eating Well in Season
serves 3


2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 cups halved brussels sprouts, or green beans
1 leek, white and light green parts, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of garlic powder
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup cream or milk
1/2 cup polenta, or coarsely ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 475.  Toss the veggies with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.  Lay out on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until tender and brown in spots.

2.  Meanwhile, combine broth and cream in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, whisk in polenta, rosemary, and a bit of freshly ground pepper.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in cheese; remove from heat. 

3.  Serve vegetables over polenta.


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