Tonight I made a great recipe out of my huge envelope of randomly collected recipes. This was a recipe for a "Polenta Torta with Roasted Squash". I got it from my newspaper, but apparently it's from "The New Vegetarian Epicure". I only made a half recipe, because it was just for the two of us, but I will give you all the full recipe (veganized, of course!)... and with the few little changes that I made:
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 T olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 T Marsala
3 c Vegetable Broth
3 c water
1 1/2 c coarse-ground polenta
3/4 c frozen corn kernals
2 c thick puree of roasted butternut squash
First, get your squash roasting in the oven. Turn the oven to 400 F, and then cut your squash in half lengthwise & scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side down on a sheet or in a baking dish. Cook until super soft, about 1 hour. To speed it up, you can also cut the squash into 1-inch thick medallions, lightly brush with olive oil, arrange on a baking sheet and bake until very soft (about 35-45 min). To puree it, just stir it up with a fork until it's pretty smooth.
Next, in a large non-stick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook very slowly, stirring occassionally... until they are browned and caramelized, about 45 minutes. When they are done, add the marsala, and stir to get any glazing off the pan... and let the alcohol evaporate a bit.
Meanwhile, bring the water & broth to a boil, and then stir in the polenta. Bring it to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently (although I was busy making something else & only stirred every once in a while, and it turned out great!). Add in the frozen corn, and cook about 5 minutes more. Stir in the caramelized onions and the squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a pie dish and smooth the top.
You can seal it with plastic wrap and store it like this for one or two days... or you can eat it just like this... or (after it has cooled a bit) you can invert it onto a rimless baking sheet & bake it at 375 for up to 30 minutes, and then slide it onto a serving dish. I inverted it and baked it for about 15 minutes, it was quite nice.
I served a huge mountain of simple chard sauteed with garlic (two entire bunches)... A great, great combo. This recipe is absurdely delicious!!! A rich, nourishing flavor and texture... very fantastic.
While all those things were cooking, I also made three more jars of applesauce (ahhh... now that box of apples will no longer taunt me everytime I walk through the kitchen!), and the lovely, amazing, and stunning "Pear and Cranberry Tart" from VwaV.
This was another pie contest experiment, and I must say, it is INSANELY good. What a successful and decadent food night we had tonight! I reduced the spices slightly in the pear tart, and had to jack up the heat to 400 for an additional 10-12 minutes. Boy oh boy oh boy... this little baby is G-O-O-D. The crust is flaky and delicate, the pears are great... super. I was going to bring it to my yoga class, but Musty has already eaten about half of it! oops!