The weather here in New England is finally starting to feel like fall -- cool, crisp mornings and evenings, and trees that are just starting to change color. So, I was in the mood to cook up some food that really felt like autumn. This pumpkin polenta is the perfect dish to warm you up on a chilly evening. It's got that total comfort-food feel that polenta has, with an extra dose of veggies in the form of pureed pumpkin. Be sure to purchase the type labelled "100% pure pumpkin" or you might end up with sweetened pie filling! I kept the seasoning pretty basic here with scallions and Parmesan cheese, but you could definitely add any spices or herbs you like, or switch up the cheese (I think goat cheese is amazing in polenta!).
You can top the polenta with whatever you like. I went vegetarian here: butternut squash and Brussels sprouts tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, warm spices, and sesame seeds, roasted for half an hour at 400 degrees. But, sausages would be excellent, as would a little kale salad and a fried egg.
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup polenta/coarse corn meal
2 scallions, trimmed and minced
15-ounce can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1. Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil. Slowly stream in the polenta while constantly whisking. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, vigorously whisking every few minutes, until the polenta is thickened and cooked through. This should take about half an hour.
2. Add the scallions and pumpkin, whisk well to combine, and return to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes, and then remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.