Winter Squash & Polenta Fritters with Romesco and Creme Fraiche

Since the cooked squash mixes up more like a smooth batter than most my fritters, these are almost like little pancakes or blini. Delicious on their own, the romesco and creme fraiche topping makes them incredibly good.

You’ll need about 2 cups cooked winter squash. I’ve used delicata and butternut, and acorn or pumpkin would work, but my favorite batch used part of an enormous banana squash. Unless I’m using leftovers, I cook the squash in the microwave. Cut it into halves or quarters, scoop out the seeds, and either wrap with plastic or put in a covered bowl. Microwave each piece about 4 minutes or until completely soft, then cool and scoop out the flesh.

Blend the squash with 2 eggs, about a cup of ricotta, a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggianno, maybe half cup each of breadcrumbs and uncooked polenta, a pinch of salt, and, if you like things a little spicy, some kind of red chile (I use piment d’espelette from Viridian Farms). Some winter squash can be a bit watery, and if your batter looks runny, add a bit more polenta or a little flour.

Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with extra virgin olive oil and put it on a medium flame. Drop smallish spoonfulls (roughly walnut-sized) into the hot oil, gently flattening the tops as you go. Don’t crowd them too much, and let them cook undisturbed for a few minutes. Flip carefully using a spatula and fork and cook a bit longer.

Sprinkle with flor de sal, top with a dollop of romesco and bit of creme fraiche.