To all my American readers - Happy, Happy Day-Before-Thanksgiving-Dinner Day!!
(And Happy Day Of Vegan Gravy, Number 24!)
No last-minute-dinner-and-turkey-themed post here though. I'm on vacation, hiding out from cooking, food, family and the insane frenzy that accompanies this day way too often.
In fact, the Sprouts and I are in Portland, Oregon, city of all things vegan (including a million places to get vegan gravy made by people more, and possibly less, competent than myself).
I'm POSITIVE you'll hear all about our adventures soon! But until then, stay tuned with this retro-pumpkin post.
This makes a great Pumpkin-themed pre-holiday lunch, it's a nice way to use up that extra little bit of cooked pumpkin left over from Holiday baking, OR it's handy any time you want to impress the non-vegan-socks off someone.
Pesto, once again, is a "sauce", not exactly a "gravy" like you'd put over mashed potatoes, but I promise you, I've actually seen it referred to as "crushed-herb-gravy-sauce" in some of the old, 60's era European cookbooks that I have in my collection.
Crispy Pumpkin Polenta Triangles
1/2 cup squash or pumpkin puree1 1/2 cups water2 tablespoons soymilk1 tablespoon margarine1/2 tablespoon agave or maple syrupSalt1/2 cup polenta cornmeal (or coarse ground cornmeal)1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for fryingIn 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.
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh sage leaves (from 2 large bunches)3/4 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds/raw pepitas (about 4 ounces)1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves1 - 3 garlic cloves3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast4 Tbsp raw cashew piecessqueeze fresh lemon juicePut 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 it gets too thick, add several tbsp. non-dairy milk.Serve crispy hot polenta triangles with pesto sauce.