Summer Squash Polenta Bake

One of the joys of the CSA (community supported agriculture, or as we refer to it, the farm) is that you get a bunch of veggies that you aren’t sure what to do with. I usually throw everything in a stir-fry, but sometimes I want something else, so I decided to check and see what our local CSA (Camp Joy) had on its recipe blog, and reading down discovered their Italian Summer Squash Polenta Bake. I thought, wow, with all the squash I got this week, this will be perfect.

Tomato sauce

As I believe I mentioned, I made the tomato sauce again, but this time I followed the recipe to the letter. When I took it out last night, it was more green than red, but rather than tossing it, I put it away, and tried to think what to do with it. Then, when I looked over the polenta bake recipe, I saw it called for spaghetti sauce, so I thought, bingo, this is what I’ll use it for.

It didn’t look quite as bad as it had last night, when it had been rather green, Now, it had take on a more tomato color, and smelled fine, so I decided to use it. Not all of it, just a cups worth, which was what was called for. I was gong to try to follow the recipe.

cooked polenta

The other bit that called for something already made was a package of prepared polenta. Well, I had the grits to make polenta, so just deiced to do that. Polenta isn’t that hard to make. You basically put 3 cups of water to one cup of grits, and cook it over the stove, letting it absorb the water. Once it was done, the recipe said it had to be fried. I should probably have done this the way they asked, but I am stubborn, so just took my griddle, and fried it with that. The recipe called for it to be deep fried, but I didn’t think that was necessary. Perhaps it would have made for a crisper base, and perhaps I’ll do that next time, but this time I did not.


The rest of what I had to do was fairly straight forward. I had to chop 3 carrots, 1 large zucchini, 1 large yellow squash, 1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper.   I didn’t have the pepper, nor did I have the squash, so I used the summer squashes I had, and a yellow rather than a red onion, and threw the whole thing into the frying pan to saute. The recipe said to saute for about 5 minutes before putting int he sauce, but I let it go about 10. Then I mixed the sauce in, and lined the bottom of the baking dish with my fried polenta, which wasn’t as crispy as I’m sure it was supposed to be. Once the veggies had cooked a bit more, I poured it into the dish, and sprinkled 1/2 cup for veggie rennet Parmesan cheese that I had just shredded up. Then, I popped the whole thing in the oven for 30 minutes at 350F.

The polenta was a little underdone, but the cheese and veggies and sauce were quite good, so I may make this again, and perhaps follow the recipe for what to do with the polenta a little more closely.

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