Cheesy Baked Butternut Squash Polenta

September 23, 2020
Created by Harmons
1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 8-10
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coarse polenta
  • 1 Tbsp salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lb), peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 10 sage leaves, divided
  • 1/4 lb fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, bring broth to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta, season with 1 tablespoon salt, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking constantly, until polenta just begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in squash, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until polenta is thick and no longer gritty and squash is soft, 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, add milk, cream, butter, and 2 sage leaves, and bring to a simmer. Remove sage leaves and add to polenta-squash mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and stir constantly, about 8-10 minutes. Add fontina cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil. When oil shimmers, add remaining 8 sage leaves and cook until crispy, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sage to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.

Transfer polenta to an oven safe dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and garnish with sage leaves.