So this week got me thinking about springtime and the fact that here in Chicago we are actually having a proper spring season for a change. I think most Chicagoans feel like we always get the short end of the spring season stick year after year, but this year has been different. Springtime is a renewal of energy to me. It’s the time of the year in which we can change our attitudes and get excited to put the cold hibernating winter months behind us for a while and begin to focus on the warmth and sunshine of the months that lie ahead. With this idea comes a lot of great food popping up from the ground. Food that we haven’t seen all winter and for me, it’s the excitement to eat and cook with foods like fava beans, ramps, soft shell crabs, and so much more. All some of my favorites. So in honor of Culinary Speakeasy’s upcoming dinner on April 21st, I thought I would put up a recipe that may just be a part of our springtime dinner club menu. For those who are interested, the final menu will be posted by the end of the week and there are a few seats left, but not for long. So enjoy a great springtime dish and I hope you will look forward to many more exciting seasonal recipes to follow. Next blog, easy and fun springtime ideas! Enjoy
Roasted squash and Sage Polenta
1 medium butternut squash
1 c. polenta
3 1/2c. water (or any stock can be used)
½ c. parmesan or asiago cheese grated
7-8 large sage leaves, folded and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash lengthwise in half and place in a baking dish. Score the flesh with a knife, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place about ½ cup water in the bottom of the baking dish, cover and roast until the squash is soft and easily removed from the skin, about an hour. Once squash is cooked, scoop out the flesh with a spoon or spatula and place in a Cuisinart and puree until smooth. Remove and place in a bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepot place water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the polenta and about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until completely cooked, about ten to fifteen minutes, stirring frequently. Once completely cooked, add the squash, salt and pepper and grated cheese. Whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy.
Remove the sage leaves from the stem. Stack one on top of the other. Fold the stack in half widthwise and slice into thin strips. This can also be simply chopped if desired.
Serve polenta in a dish, top with chopped sage and a few sprinkles of cheese.