This dish has serious mac and cheese vibes, but with a bit of a makeover. Roasted brassicas (including broccoli, cabbage, broccolini, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts), really shine here, because their slight bitterness is a great counterpoint to the cheesy and slightly sweet polenta. I used broccoli and cabbage because I had both, but you could double up on broccoli or mix it up with different brassicas. It is a great vegetarian main on its own, but could be bulked up with a fried egg, beans, roasted chicken, or sausage.
My entire Potter Hill CSA share this week was broccoli, leeks, salad mix, pea tendrils, perpetual spinach, potatoes, onions, acorn squash, and butternut squash. I used the pea tendrils and perpetual spinach to make these rice bowls from a few weeks ago. Leeks and potatoes went on this pizza, where I subbed sauteed leeks for the onion and used savory from a few weeks ago instead of the rosemary. Your squash could also be used for my absolute favorite butternut soup with coconut milk. Either (or both) squash would be excellent in this bright fall salad.
Cheesy Butternut Polenta with Roasted Broccoli and Cabbage
Adapted from Dinner.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces peeled and seeded butternut squash, grated (3 cups)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup polenta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb broccoli (1 large head or 3-4 small heads)
- 12 ounces cabbage (about 1/4 head)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- Fresh ricotta, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Melt the butter in the bottom of a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add in the grated butternut squash, and saute for 5-8 minutes, until it starts to brown. Remove butternut squash from the pot, and add in water, milk, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, and whisk in polenta and butternut squash. Stir regularly while keeping at a low bubble for 30-40 minutes. The polenta should be completely soft, with no hard grainy bits or raw corn taste.
Chop the broccoli crown, stem, and leaves (if attached) into 1/2 inch pieces (peel the stem first if the outside is tough). Toss on a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Chop the cabbage into 1/2″ pieces, and toss on a second baking sheet with the remaining tablespoon oil and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. It’s ok if some layers of the cabbage stick together while others separate. This will make for a nice mix of soft and crispy bits. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until browned at the edges, tossing vegetables and rotating pans halfway through.
When the polenta is cooked add the parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper. Serve polenta with roasted vegetables on top and a dollop of ricotta.