Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Polenta with Sage-Pumpkin-Seed Pesto

It's fall, it's chilly, I'm in a "Pumpkin-y" sort of mood... So I dragged out some ingredients that sounded good and modified a very UNvegan recipe or two for these... Pumpkin Polenta and Sage-Pumpkin-Seed Pesto.

You can use canned plain pumpkin here if you want, or if you want to use fresh: Bake or microwave a small pumpkin (the sugar-pie type, not the big jack-o-lantern type - or any dense winter squash will work) until soft.

Scoop out squash and mash or puree. Measure out 1/2 cup squash for this recipe:

Crispy Pumpkin Polenta Triangles

1/2 cup squash or pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons soymilk
1 tablespoon margarine
1/2 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
1/2 cup polenta cornmeal (or coarse ground cornmeal)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for frying

In a medium saucepan, combine the pumpkin with the water and bring to a boil. Add the soymilk, margarine, agave and a generous pinch of salt.

Add the polenta cornmeal in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Cook over low-ish heat, stirring until thickened and cornmeal is cooked - about 20 minutes.

Scrape the polenta into a loaf pan and refrigerate until firm. When firm and chilled, run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the polenta. Slice into 1 1/2 -inch squares/rectangles, and then crosswise into triangles;
Fry the triangles in batches, turning once, until deep golden and crisp, about 2 - 5 minutes per side.

Transfer to paper towels or brown paper bag to absorb excess oil and drain.

Make Pumpkin-Seed Sage Pesto:

Pumpkin-Seed and Sage Pesto

3/4 cup lightly packed fresh sage leaves (from 2 large bunches)
3/4 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
1 - 3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
4 Tbsp raw cashew pieces
squeeze fresh lemon juice

Put cashews in bowl of food processor and blend into a fine powder.
Using on/off turns, blend sage leaves, pumpkin seeds, parsley, and garlic in processor until mixture is finely chopped.
With machine running, add 3/4 cup oil and squeeze of lemon juice and blend until thick paste forms.
Transfer to small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Warm for a few moments in a saucepan, if too thick, add several Tbsp. soymilk.
Serve crispy hot polenta triangles with pesto sauce.

As you can see, I had a hard time getting a picture, my kids kept eating the polenta before I had enough to photograph!


Anonymous said...

this looks so elegant so tasty, i will love to have sage around the town, but i never see that plant here maybe i will need to plant some seed just to try this recipe.

The Little Vegan said...

I love pumpkins AND polenta, so the two of them together sounds like a perfect marriage.

Vegetation said...

I have a sage pumpkin polenta recipe that we eat soft, but this...this sounds like it is to die for! And better yet, easy enough that I can make it this week in the chaos that is currently my "we're moving" kitchen (sigh).

Vegan_Noodle said...

The sounds so so good. I love pumpkin everything, and what a pairing with polenta. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

aTxVegn said...

I love pumpkin and that pesto sounds especially nice!

Tracy said...

I may have to try this one, Tofu Mom! I tried polenta once before, and we were like, Meh, not so hot. But your pictures sure make it look yummy!

bazu said...

Wow, I have got to make this. I'm totally hoarding pumpkins and pumpkin recipes right now!

Ashasarala said...

I LOVE everything pumpkin and these look so good.

I have yet to make anything harvesty, other than apple soup. I need to throw together something pumpkiny. This recipe just might do! Thanks for sharing!

Danielle said...

Yay! Another vegan teacher, here! That looks delicious. I'm so going to make that this week. Thanks for the recipe!

Nat said...

this pumpkin polenta ROCKS!! *rubs belly* next time i'll make a double batch, it went so fast!!

i didn't have everything for the pesto (got basil instead of parsley - oops lol and didn't have walnuts or pumpkin seeds), so i improvised. it too turned out quite well!! i served it w/ worthington multigrain cutlets i dipped in soy "buttermilk" and then in a french-fried onion and breadcrumb mixture and pan fried. i topped it with the pesto and it was delicious!!

i LOVE your blog and i cannot wait to try more of your recipes!!