My husband passed on a recipe to me that inspired me to create this dish. It’s pretty quick and with another side dish, it makes a meal. After cleaning his plate, he told me he loved my cooking as if he was surprised by that…so, I guess it turned out pretty well. The dish above is pictured mainly with my cauliflower side dish on top because by the time the photo was taken, pretty much all the spinach had been eaten. The dish I made with it was browned cauliflower with caraway, golden raisins and hazelnuts. We ended up with enough polenta left for another dinner, so plan on that. And this recipe calls for butternut squash puree, which I got by using half a large butternut squash for butternut squash soup and then roasting the other half in the oven brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper and a clove of garlic in the cavity. Then I put it in the fridge until it was time for this dish.
About 30 minutes, mostly active time
For the polenta:
1 cup polenta
4 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 cup butternut squash puree
4 tblsp creme fraiche or sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1 cup whole corn kernels, frozen or fresh
1/2 cup toasted pecans
For the spinach:
10 oz fresh baby spinach
2 tblsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
sea salt and pepper to taste
-Make butternut squash puree by taking the roasted squash and adding 2 tblsp of the creme fraiche to it to thin it out a bit. I used an immersion blender to puree my roasted squash and ended up also adding a few tblsp of stock to get it evenly pureed. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
-Heat oven to 375. Put pecans on baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
-Put the stock and water in a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Add salt. Pour polenta into boiling water in a steady stream, stirring the whole time. Cook polenta until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan, stirring constantly, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in pureed squash, remaining creme fraiche, corn and Parmesan. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
-Heat olive oil in 10″ saute pan and add garlic. Cook until garlic is softened and add the paprika. Saute for a few seconds, then add the spinach to the pan. Saute until spinach is wilted and the garlic and paprika are evenly combined with the spinach, 3-5 minutes. Cook a bit longer if needed to evaporate most of the liquid.
-Serve polenta with a few spoonfuls of the spinach on top and a sprinkle of pecans.