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Sage Polenta Bites
I have been all about appetizers lately. Tasty little bites that hold everyone over until the main event, or that something special for a party……….Sage Polenta Bites!
I love butternut squash……….it’s sweet and nutty flavor is perfect for this recipe. I have said it before, but I go through phases with food………I was having a butternut squash phase when fall came a calling. Something about fall and butternut squash and sage……..it speaks to me……..of course what food doesn’t ……….it all speaks to me!
Soooo much inspiration comes to me at the grocery store……..I love the grocery store……….I love to grocery shop…….I know crazy huh! Well, I am a little nut off plum…….tee hee! Anyway, I was doing my pursuing at the store and saw a tube of polenta. I have grilled it and fried it before, topped it with tomatoes……yummy. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but it went into the cart.
Fast forward a week or so…….I had a butternut squash that I wanted to do something with,out of the corner of my eye I caught the polenta…….it’s shelf stable, so you can keep it on hand. So, out came the polenta. Now what????? Well the best way to have the butternut squash is roasted so, into the oven with a little bit of oil and salt and pepper. While that was roasting I was looking at the polenta for some idea of how to cook it……crispy?……..panko crumbs, it makes everything crispy. So, three station dip for the polenta…….flour, egg, panko. Into some hot oil and crispy they were. Now to top them, although I could have eaten them as they were. At this point if you are making them for a party, you can hold them in a warm oven to keep them crisp.
The squash was roasted, but I wanted to jazz it up some……walnuts, sage, and a touch of garlic. Cooked the walnuts, sage and garlic in a touch of oil and added it to the roasted squash.
Still something missing…..some kind of creamy something…..maybe cheese……..goat cheese! Flavor for the goat cheese??? First I thought no, then maybe, finally yes……..not sure why I tried it, but I am sure glad I did……. maple syrup. It was perfect!
So, crispy polenta, a smear of maple goat cheese, and the squash walnut mixture. Looks real pretty……..take a bite………heaven……..it was one of those moments when Tim and I both said……thats the ticket!
One thing I have learned after a year of writing this blog, by the time you get the pictures taken the food is cold……in this case it did not matter, they still tasted awesome!
So, for that extra special party or just because try these Sage Polenta Bites you will be glad you did!
- Squash Mixture
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/ cup toasted walnut,chopped
- 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 (18-ounce) tube prepared polenta, cut into 12 (1/2-inch) slices
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- Goat Cheese
- 1 – 4oz package goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Squash Mixture
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash cubes with 2 teaspoons oil. Spread out the butternut squash ona baking sheet sprayed with onon-stick spray.Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender and startin gto caramelize.
- While the squash is roasting, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts, sage and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts are lightly browned, and garlic is fragrant 2 to 3 minutes.
- Scoop the butternut squash into a large bowl. Scrape the pine nut mixture onto the butternut squash and gently toss.
- Place bread crumbs, flour and egg into separate shallow bowls.
- Cut polenta slices in half.
- Dip each polenta piece into flour, then egg and then bread crumbs.
- Heat oil over medium heat. Place dipped polenta pieces into skillet careful not to over crowd. Cook 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.Turn polenta slices; cook again for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove polenta to parchement lined baking sheet; place in 250* oven to keep warm.
- Goat Cheese
- Mix together until smooth.
- To assemble
- Remove polenta from oven and allow to cool slightly.Just so you can handle them. Place a dollop of the goat cheese mixture on each polenta piece. Top with roasted butternut squash mixture. Garnish with small sage leaves if desired.