butternut squash polenta & veggie sausage

Butternut Squash Polenta + Veggie Sausage

it’s Sunday morning,
i’m under a thick blanket
my friend Nuria knitted for me,
a parting gift made up of
old, random strands of yarn i had laying around.
the sun is full on bright out,
but the day lies,
because it’s below freezing.
i’m watching The Mind of a Chef,
season 4, episode 3,
trying to be motivated
and inspired to make something in the kitchen,
instead, all i can think about is
sipping a negroni.
first, i don’t even like gin,
the shit tastes like shit.
second, it’s taken about 4 watches of
Gabrielle Hamilton for me to even like her.
third, it’s now going on 10:30 in the A M.
the way she describes
how the gin ebbs the edges of a hard day,
how the campari’s bitterness coaxes an appetite,
the combination leaves you warm, hungry,
and then the vermouth brings it all together.
damn, an aperitivo for breakfast, please!

and, should you find yourself,
later in the day, still awake,
breakfast for dinner it is…

Butternut Squash Polenta + Veggie Sausage

butternut squash polenta & veggie sausage
makes 4 servings

note: this dish came about because we had a butternut squash on our counter since autumn. for a hard veggie, it doesn’t really take that long to cook, especially when it’s chopped small. cooking two ingredients that take a fair amount of time to be done, together, seemed to make sense. and then to bring it all together, i topped with breakfast stuff. i’ve always viewed breakfast for dinner meals to be fun, somehow whimsical, but always satisfying and warming.

1 cup of polenta
a cup, give or take, of cubed butternut squash
1 bay leaf
4-5 cups of homemade veggie stock, or water

veggie breakfast sausage patties, chopped
1/2 onion sliced
olive oil
1 glove garlic minced

medium-hard boiled eggs, sliced in half
chopped chives, dried or fresh, optional, for garnish

in a large pot, heat up the veggie stock or water, along with the bay leave. bring it to a boil and slowly stir in the polenta and squash. reduce heat to medium and simmer. stir every so often, when you think of it, but think of it often. you’re aiming for a soft creamy mixture, anywhere from 20-30 minutes. you might have to add more liquid if it gets too thick. salt/pepper to taste. if you’re fancy, mix in a pat of butter.

between stirrings, in a skillet, heat up a splash of olive oil. add in the sliced onions and a sprinkle of salt. mix until well coated and then add in the minced garlic. you’re aiming for soft and tender and browned caramel-y onions. don’t burn the garlic.

push the onion/garlic mixture to side, and heat up the chopped veggie sausage.

to assemble, ladle in a scoop or two of the polenta. top with sauteed onions and chopped veggie sausage. finally, add on half an egg and garnish with chopped chives.


Butternut Squash Polenta + Veggie Sausage

another polenta option: creamy polenta and roasted mushrooms
3 years ago: ultimate white cake
2 years ago: overnight steel cut oats
1 year ago: ny style cheesecake

8 thoughts on “butternut squash polenta & veggie sausage

  1. What a great combo and a creative way to use the butternut. This looks so delicious I may have to recreate it. I never saw the show you’re watching but I’ve read Hamilton’s book and really thought it was amazingly well written. She has a talent for words. I’ve also eaten at Prune and she has that same creative talent for cooking and yet I have to say, I didn’t really like her in said book or at the restaurant. Funny you would say that. Anyway, can’t wait to try this. Comfort food at its best.

    1. it really is a good combo, filling and warm and from start to finish, about 45 minutes labor.

      i keep going back & forth if i want to check out Prune when we’re in town. her foods looks very simple and totally my thing. she has a lyrical way of describing her food, and the relationship she has with it, but there is a very closed-off manner about her that is off-putting. i’m almost tempted to check out her book, though i find most chef memoirs/books irk me – they come across as whiny or self-indulgent.

  2. I love Negroni’s, it’s one of my favourite cocktails. But then I’m a gin lover, although I would never, ever, ever drink the stuff neat because it does indeed taste like shit. How can something be so awful and then so good when mixed? Love the sound of this comforting, rib-sticking dish, and I also must say that the last photograph with the shaft of light and glowing yolk is simply gorgeous. Love your work 🙂

    1. i feel like such a newbie, i don’t think i’ve ever had campari before. i tend to stick with my usual glass of Malbec or Riesling when i’m out…
      and, always YES to breakfast for dinner, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal.

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