Friday, November 20, 2015

Polenta Casserole with Winter Squash and Greens


I first prepared this recipe about 10 years ago, it’s a recipe from the Moosehead Restaurant Cookbook. I completely forgot about it until I tried something very similar to it at Trader Joe’s during their sampling this week. There are three distinct layers. The bottom layer is polenta that is flavored with sundried tomatoes, fresh thyme and cheddar cheese. The second layer is roughly 10 cups of fresh greens cooked down, drained, then spooned on top of the polenta. Then for the last and final layer roasted squash is mashed, combined with a beaten egg and then cheddar cheese is added. (Insert some type of magical bells ringing here). Spoon this mixture on top and slide in the oven. Your kitchen will start smelling like Thanksgiving in no time at all.

** Just a note about this dish: It is time consuming I won’t deny that, but to me well worth it. I will be making this again and again**

Have a wonderful Holiday!!!

Recipe has been slightly adapted from the Moosehead Restaurant Cookbook.

Ingredients:

First layer, polenta:

2 ½ cups water
2/3 cup cornmeal (organic)
2 whole sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

Second layer, the greens:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves (minced)
8 to 10 cups of pressed or kale, spinach or hearty greens
½  cup water
¼ teaspoon salt

Third layer:

2 cups mashed squash (I roasted one small squash, pic below can’t remember the name of it)
1 large egg (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)


To prepare:

For the polenta layer:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 8 x 8 inch pan or cast iron skillet, set aside also prepare a small roasting pan by covering with aluminum foil to place pan or skillet on during baking so there will be no drippings in your oven.

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy saucepan and whisk in the cornmeal. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, salt and thyme and cook on low heat, stirring often until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the cheese. Pour into prepared pan, level with a spatula or knife.


For the greens layer:

In a heavy soup pot on medium heat add oil and garlic, stir about 1 minute add chopped greens, water and salt. Cover and stir occasionally until greens are tender about 10 minutes. Drain in colander, let sit about 10 minutes, then scoop onto the polenta, tap lightly down.


For the squash layer:

In a medium sized bowl combine the squash, egg, salt and cheese. Scoop on top of the greens. Cover and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 to 15. I baked 10 more minutes and then turned on the broiler for another minute or so to lightly brown.





Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

72 comments:

  1. Wow, what a fun and unusual dish. It sounds wonderful. I lost my Moosewood cookbook but I used to love it. :)

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    1. Hi Scott, I think that Moosewood and etty Crocker were my first cookbooks.

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  2. If I had the time I would make this for my vegetarian guest tonight :)

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  3. Though time consuming to make this dish, surely it taste good, your efforts paid off ... A wonderful holiday to you & family, Cheri ^-^!

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    1. Thanks Karen, a wonderful holiday to you too!~

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  4. Ooh ... that mashed squash layer sounds addictive!

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  5. Sounds like an incredible, autumn dish! I'd love a big slice for lunch!!

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  6. Wow lovely recipe. .healthy recipe also

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  7. It looks irresistible. Healthy and yummy. Love it :)

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  8. It looks definitely worth all the efforts, Cheri.

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  9. Oh, This looks absolutely heavenly. Wish I was eating at your house today !

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  10. The combination here sounds excellent, Cheri! Well worth the effort, indeed.

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  11. Cheri , have to try this dish , love all the ingredients . Pinning ... Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

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  12. Even though I have polenta I've never cooked it to be eaten like this. I've only ever added it to other ingredients. Must try during the week as I like the idea of the first two layers together. I'll have to keep my squash for pumpkin pie to celebrate Thanksgiving. Talking of which, have a great holiday.

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    1. Hi Johnny, so nice that you celebrate Thanksgiving, I love any holiday that is all about food and family.

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  13. I used to go to the Moosewood restaurant all the time when I was in college a few hours away. It was started by a violist from my school when she left the music world! Good thing for us, right? I love this pie, especially at this time of year!

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    1. Hi David, one of these times when we travel to Tucson my husband and I would love to meet you and Mark, I just know we would get along.

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  14. Wow - this casserole looks so hearty and really yummy!

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  15. It's got to be amazing with those 3 layers! Looks awesome, Cheri. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  16. I love this kind of dish! I adore greens in layers with squash anyway. I could eat this every night! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Cheri!

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  17. This looks wonderful, Cheri. The Moosewood Cookbook was the first one I owned. You've brought back good memories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! D

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    1. Hi Dena, that is so funny, another thing we have in common. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

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  18. Happy thanksgiving.. Looks delicious and inviting

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  19. Time is required to achieve perfection! And your fantabulous looking and sounding polenta casserole are no exception =)

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    1. Thanks Kim, Happy Turkey day to you and your family!

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  20. Oh my, Cheri, I can see how all that work is so worth it! This looks so darn tasty. I'm currently working on a vegan recipe that is taking hours of research but I know it's going to be worth it, too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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    1. Thanks Robyn, appreciate all your support. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  21. Dear Cheri, your wonderful pie has three layers of delicious goodness - love the polenta, the greens and the squash layer - they sound like they add up to one amazing dinner treat - perfect for the kind of weather we are having these days!
    Wishing you and your family a Very Happy Thanksgiving!
    Andrea

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    1. Thanks Andrea, appreciate your thoughtfulness!

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  22. This dish looks fabulous Cheri. What a creative and tasty use of winter squash.

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  23. Time consuming but this dish looks very much worth it. I love the colours in all the layers. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family for Thursday xx

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  24. Oh my goodness! My eyes were wide when I was reading this recipe! So many of my favorite things in one skillet! I know it's delicious, can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing! Yum Happy Thanksgiving!

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  25. Oh my goodness! My eyes were wide when I was reading this recipe! So many of my favorite things in one skillet! I know it's delicious, can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing! Yum Happy Thanksgiving!

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  26. I've never seen anything like this! I love polenta, and all the layers in this casserole sound delicious!

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  27. I've never seen anything like this! I love polenta, and all the layers in this casserole sound delicious!

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  28. I think I still have that cookbook Cheri. I must dig it out! This looks delicious. Have a very happy thanksgiving!

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  29. Holy Yum Cheri - this looks incredible. So satisfying!

    theglowwithin.com

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  30. Sounds amazing and well worth the time and trouble. I have to give it a try.
    Amalia
    xo

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  31. What a great dish! I've been on a real polenta kick lately, so this is definitely right up my alley. Really fun combo of flavors -- thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks John, Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs. Riff.

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  32. Wonderful recipe! The blend of the three layers is so creative. (Thank you also for your kind words on my last post Cheri...so sweet of you.)

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  33. That sounds sensational! I might have to try my hand at a vegan version of this for my partner. :)

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    1. Hi Teresa, you are the best partner, so thoughtful!

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