This fall-friendly dish is wildly delish, and endlessly versatile! It features one of my favourite ingredients, whole grain polenta, that serves as a cozy, creamy bed for sweet and juicy honeynut squash bathed in a gorgeous garlicky marinade, and curled up with caramelized onions and fresh herbs. If you’re in another hemisphere and season, swap out the squash for whatever is fresh and local. For more ideas about what’s local, check out the Seasonal Shopping Guides here on Grow!
A note about the polenta, olive oil, and balsamic I used in this recipe: they are all Biodynamic from Solspring®! What is Biodynamic you ask? Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic approach to farming (holistic nutrition… holistic farming… See a theme?) that takes the entire farm and community into account – the water, the air, the plants, the people, the animals, the soil, etc. – and follows regenerative practices that support the overall well-being of the land. Working with Biodynamic, traditionally-grown, and/or organic foods and ingredients makes a huge difference in my kitchen, especially when they were just harvested from my own garden! I believe in the power that food has to change our bodies and planet, so whenever possible, I choose wisely and with intention.
Roasted Honeynut and Caramelized Onion Polenta
- For the squash:
- 1 lb. / 500g honeynut squash
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 fat clove garlic finely minced
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- For the onions:
- 1 lb. / 500g yellow onions
- 3 Tbsp. butter or ghee plant-based or dairy, your preference
- a generous pinch of salt
- For the polenta:
- 4 cups / 1L water or vegetable broth 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup / 185g quick-cook polenta
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano plus more for garnish
- 180 g feta roughly crumbled (plant-based or dairy, your preference)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
- Wash the squash well, then slice into rings about the width of a finger, removing any seeds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes, at which point you’ll flip the squash. Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt. Set aside.
- While the squash is roasting, caramelize the onions. Peel them, slice in half, then into half-moons. Melt the fat of your choice in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and salt, stir well to coat, then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside when golden brown.
- When the squash is tender, remove from the oven and pour the marinade over top, stirring well to coat. Set aside until ready to serve.
- About 10 minutes before serving, make the polenta. Bring water or vegetable broth to a simmer, add the salt and pepper. Slowly pour the polenta in a steady stream into the liquid, whisking constantly to combine. Stir frequently for 5-7 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and add the olive oil, parsley and oregano. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- To serve, pour the polenta onto a cutting board, or platter. Top with the marinated squash, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and feta, if using. Drizzle a touch more olive oil over the top. Say thank you, and enjoy.