I am into the fall—especially during a rainy, cold Sunday afternoon. Warming flavors of sage, squash and walnuts come together in this satisfying main dish. I haven’t mentioned my current obsession with polenta, but it’s hard core. I always thought polenta was this boring, bland, dry thing, but it turns out it’s pretty magical. Even if you just add water to it—it’s creamy like it’s fattened and naughty. Here, I do make it moderately naughty with some strong gorgonzola and fresh sage. The baked tofu is a take-it-or-leave-it item—I just thought it needed a protein boost.
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Time: About 1 hour total; 20 minutes active
4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt and cayenne pepper, each
3 ounces gorgonzola cheese, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups winter squash, cubed
6 ounces baked tofu, cubed
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1. Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add cornmeal slowly, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Once cornmeal is incorporated, add sage, salt and cayenne. Mix well. Add 2 ounces gorgonzola, crumbling it over the pot. Whisk to incorporate. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
2. Spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray. Pour polenta in and smooth out. Put it the fridge to cool for 30–45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and squash. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3–4 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes until squash has started to soften. Add tofu and heat for 2–3 minutes. Set aside.
4. Heat grill, grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Cut polenta into 6 equal squares. Grill polenta 3–4 minutes on each side until browned/blackened.
5. To serve, place grilled polenta on a dish and top with squash, tofu mixture. Crumble some remaining gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts on top and enjoy!
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Capps created Vegetarianized.com as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Capps is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.