Squash Polenta Casserole




I’m totally up to my neck in squash and from the CSA, so instead of making zucchini bread, I decided to experiment with polenta, which I just recently cooked with for the first time. I tried this recipe the other night when I had friends over for dinner and it was a huge success (I love all her recipes!). Daiya cheese would have gone great with this too but I ran out and was already back home in Brooklyn (can only find it in Manhattan so far). I’ve also been getting a ton of basil so I’m putting pesto on EVERYTHING, but who would complain about that?

For the pesto:

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh basil, sprigs removed
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • crushed red pepper
Process everything up, pouring the olive oil in little by little. I left it chunky, but if you want you can add more olive oil to make it smoother.
For the polenta:
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt
I followed veganprairiefood’s method:
Combine the cornmeal, salt and cold water, then pour into the boiling water on the stove. Turn the burner down to medium low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the cornmeal thickens into a thick paste. I set it by the window to cool for about 20 minutes.
For the filling:
  • 5 small summer squash (i used green and yellow) halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups napa cabbage, steamed until soft but crisp (about 10 min
  • tempeh crumbles (adapted from post punk kitchen recipe, without the sage and added 1 tsp nutritional yeast)

Grease the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch pan and preheat oven to 375º

Saute the onions for about 7 minutes until they turn soft and translucent, then add to the tempeh and cook for another 3 minutes on med-low heat.

While that’s cooking, roll the polenta into a cylinder and cut into thin slices to layer the bottom of the pan with.

On top of that, layer the zucchini, tempeh, cabbage, and pesto (I had room for about 2 rounds of layers) and top off with the remaining polenta slices.

Bake for about 25 min. This made about 5 servings, and the leftovers were great for a quick yummy breakfast the next day too when we were in a hurry to go berry picking. The one redeeming thing about the atrociously hot summer in New York has been all the great fruits and veggies!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Franny
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 14:12:23

    cook for meeeeeeeeeeeee 😦

    Reply

  2. Melody M.
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 21:26:29

    Thank you so much for the mention! And I’m so glad you and your friends liked the recipe! It’s one of my favorites! I’ve been meaning to try some of yours too and I think the squash polenta casserole might be the first one I try — it looks amazing! I love casseroles (and that’s an understatement)! In fact, I haven’t made one in a while and I’ve been meaning to. Looks like I know what I’ll be making this week! 🙂

    Reply

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