Soft polenta with roast squash, kale & hazelnuts
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4
This dish makes a wonderful accompaniment to a roast chicken or some lovely crackling-covered pork. It works well as a vegetarian main course too
- 100g shallots
- ½ butternut squash , peeled and chopped into chunks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 thyme sprigs , leaves picked
- 2 garlic cloves , crushed
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/4 of a whole nutmeg)
- 200g curly kale , tough stalks removed
- 1 lemon , zested and juiced
- 50g hazelnuts , halved or roughly chopped
- 700ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 150g fine polenta
- 50ml milk
- 50g parmesan or ricotta salata (available from ocado.com), plus some shavings to serve
- STEP 1
Boil the kettle, put the shallots in a bowl, pour over kettle-hot water and set aside for 10 mins. This will make them much easier to peel. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- STEP 2
Once cooled a little, drain and peel the shallots, and halve any large ones. In a large roasting tin, toss the shallots and squash with 1 tbsp oil and some seasoning. Roast for 25 mins.
- STEP 3
Add the thyme, garlic, chilli, nutmeg, kale, lemon zest and hazelnuts to the roasting tin. Season and toss with the remaining oil. Return to the oven for another 15 mins.
- STEP 4
While the vegetables are roasting, bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan. Pour in the polenta in a thin, steady stream, whisking continuously. Cook for 2-3 mins, then add the milk, season well and stir in the cheese. The polenta should have the consistency of loose mashed potato. Keep warm until ready to serve – the polenta will form a skin and thicken if left for too long, so cover with a piece of baking parchment, and stir in some extra milk if you need to.
- STEP 5
To serve, pour the warm polenta onto a large serving platter and top with the roasted veg. Squeeze over a little lemon juice and finish with some parmesan shavings.