Elly Pear's roast pumpkin polenta

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Elly Pear's roast pumpkin polenta

Post by Morganna »

I made this earlier and it was lovely. The book (Green) suggests that it is a meal on its own, and it is very tasty and filling, but I think it would be better as a side, with sausages or a steak, or veggie/vegan substitutes, as it's basically pimped up soft polenta. You could use nutritional yeast instead of cheese and cut the creme fraiche to make it vegan, I think.

Truncated version of recipe - add mashed roasted squash to cooked polenta made from an equal dry weight, stir in cheese and seasoning, then serve with swirls of harissa and creme fraiche.

Step by step version - cut a pumpkin or squash in half longways and remove the seeds (I used a standard size BNS) brush with OO and roast for 45 mins or so in a moderate oven.

You are only going to use half the flesh unless it is a teeny squash - mine worked out at 250g per half a BNS - so have a plan for the other half (I am going to make gnocchi with mine tomorrow). If you have a giant pumpkin, adjust polenta accordingly for industrial quantities of the finished dish, or just weigh out 250g of it and make soup with the rest.

Scoop out the flesh, mash it and weigh it. Weigh out the same amount of polenta (the quick cook kind) and cook it in boiling stock (bouillon powder and water is fine). Her formula is 150ml of liquid to every 50g of the total weight of polenta and pumpkin. So 1.5litres stock if you have 250g of BNS and another 250 of polenta. It's not an exact science though - just cook the polenta as you usually would, or follow the instructions on the pack. I made it in a cast iron casserole dish on the hob rather than dirty a saucepan.

Whisk as it cooks for about 3 mins. Take off the heat and stir in the mashed squash with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add grated cheese while still hot - the recipe said parmesan, I used cheddar as it was all I had in the fridge, but I guess most cheese would be fine - and season well. I added garlic, too. The recipe calls for added butter, but I was happy with plenty of cheese.

To serve, swirl in dollops of green harissa and creme fraiche (the creme fraiche loosens the polenta). I had half a jar of rose harissa in the fridge so I added a dollop of that, too.

That's it. It would be good for Hallowe'en, and children might like it plain, or with a smaller amount of harissa in their portion (adults could add it at the table if eating with little people). It's pretty too, with the yellow polenta, red and green harissa and white creme fraiche. I should have taken a photo, but we got stuck in straight away :ready:.

Oh, she says it serves 6, but I would say it's more like 4, unless you are using it as a side.
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