Polenta with Winter Squash & Caramelized Onion

Combine a cup of good whole grain polenta (local Ayers Creek is best; Anson Mills mail order pretty good, Bob’s Red Mill okay) with three cups of cold water and a good pinch of sea salt. Cook over low heat for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Keep some hot water at hand and add a bit if the polenta is hard to stir.

While the polenta cooks, make the squash

Cook some winter squash so you have a couple of cups’ worth. Either peel and seed butternut, then cook until it’s tender and soft by either microwaving it in a covered bowl with a tablespoon of water or steaming on the stovetop. The not-so-easy-to-peel varieties such as delicata, acorn,and the bigger winter squash can be cut lengthwise, seeds scraped out, wrapped in plastic (or use a covered bowl), and microwaved until tender

The bigger squash will yield a lot of cooked squash; see the fritter chronicles and this article on Culinate by Deborah Madison for how to use it.

Cook a medium onion, chopped coarsely in extra virgin olive oil  until it begins to caramelize, about 20-40 minutes. You don’t want the onion to get crispy, so avoid the temptation to turn up the heat. Let it cook long and slow.

Add the cooked squash and mash it bit with a fork, then stir in the sage. Spoon some of the squash-onion mix over the polenta; top with freshly grated parmigiano.