I had half a can of pumpkin purée left over after making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars for Halloween, so I decided to try a savory pumpkin dish next. My recipe is based on one for Pumpkin-Sage Polenta, with a few alterations of course. The biggest change was the addition of baby greens, so that I would have a side dish with vegetables as well as carbs. Instead of instant polenta, I used the old-fashioned type because that is what I had on hand. This dish is just a savory variation of cornmeal mush, but it is really quite good, and a nice change from potatoes or pasta.
I served this polenta with some chicken-apple sausages I happened to have in the freezer, but it would also be good with chicken or ham. I might even try it with shrimp or eggs one of these days. This is the perfect side dish for a fall meal -- I just wish we were having fall weather right now!
Parmesan Pumpkin Polenta with Baby Greens
2 C. 2% milk
2 1/2 C. water
3/4 C. canned pumpkin purée
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. old-fashioned polenta (not instant)
2 T. cream cheese
1 bag (8 oz.) mixed baby greens (I used a kale and spinach blend)
1/2 tsp. crumbled dried sage (or 1 T. chopped fresh sage)
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Bring the milk and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the pumpkin and salt. Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the polenta, whisking constantly (this step is very important to prevent lumps!). Continue cooking over low heat for 30 minutes, whisking frequently, especially during the first half of cooking. Do not leave the polenta unattended as it will bubble and splash all over the place!
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the cream cheese until it is completely melted. Add the baby greens one handful at a time, stirring until wilted before adding the next batch. Remove from the heat and add the sage and cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted and the polenta is smooth. Serves 8.