Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blue Cheese and Butternut Squash Polenta Pie

3 cups water
1 1/4 cups coarse ground polenta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups peeled and diced butternut or other orange squash
1/2 cup bleu or feta cheese
10 roasted tomatoes
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
Chopped walnuts

1.  Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and whisk in polenta, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, garlic and lemon zest.  Nice to add in grated Parmesan cheese if you like at this stage as well.  Stir for five minutes over medium-low heat before pouring into a 9-by-18-inch baking sheet brushed with olive oil.  Cool for an hour in the fridge.

2.  Cube and bake a butternut or other sweet and orange squash for 20+ minutes at 375 degrees, until soft but still firm.

3.  To roast tomatoes: Put fresh, whole tomatoes on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Let roast in the oven for 20 minutes on 400 degrees F. or until golden brown and starting to carmelize.  Remove, keeping juices for the lasagna.

4. Remove cooled polenta from the fridge and brush with olive oil.  Evenly spread squash, roasted tomatoes with juices, 1/2 cup bleu cheese and shredded mozzarella over the polenta. 

5.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Finish by removing foil and baking until top is golden brown (10 to 15 minutes).

Garnish with chopped walnuts.  Although we serve this dish without a top like an open face polenta pie, you can also reserve 1/2 of the polenta to cover the pie and now call it a lasagna! 

**inspired from ultra runner Geoff Roes in Outside Magazine

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