Whenever we make soft cooked polenta, I make a little extra and leave it on a plate or in a shallow cake pan to cool overnight in the fridge. Polenta is a really versatile ingredient that you can eat soft, crispy, cold, hot, you name it! It’s gluten free as it’s made from cornmeal and essentially takes on flavors of the other ingredients on the dish. When I have leftover cooked polenta, I’ll cut it into squares with a knife or a cookie cutter and crisp it up on both sides in a non-stick pan. Sometimes it’s topped with fried eggs, other times sautéed mushrooms or creamy pesto. In this recipe, I used a roasted acorn squash and some nutty sage butter. If you have vegetarians coming for dinner, THIS is the way to really impress!
Squash and Polenta
Makes 2 servings
1 C Precooked polenta, or buy pre-cooked in a roll at the store
1 acorn squash
4 TB unsalted butter
1 small bunch of fresh sage
2 TB olive oil
1 TB all purpose flour
Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Using the natural ridges on the squash, cut segments. Place onto a large sheet-pan and lightly toss the squash with olive oil, salt, and a bit of fresh pepper. Make sure the squash is not crowded on the pan, or it will steam instead of turning golden brown. Roast for 15-17 minutes turning the squash half-way through the cooking process.
While the squash is roasting, sift 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and a bit of salt onto a small plate. Cube the polenta into 2” squares or rounds, and lightly dust in the flour. Be careful to brush off any excess as the flour before frying. In a non-stick pan, heat the butter and fry the sage for 1 minute. Remove, and let drain on a paper towel. Add the polenta, and be careful as the oil may “spit” a bit as there is some moisture in the polenta. Crisp until golden about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season with kosher (or Maldon) salt while very hot. Plate the polenta and top with the squash and fried sage. Spoon any remaining butter over the dish and serve hot!