September in Western Oregon is my favorite month in the garden because I finally get to harvest, harvest, harvest! This has been a great year for peppers, squash (summer and winter), green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, herbs and really everything else I planted.
I’ve been on a polenta kick lately (Southerners know them as grits) so I began with a recipe from Vegetarian Southwest: Recipes from the Region’s Favorite Restaurants, changed it up a bit and ended up with some delicious results.
It started with my garden peppers and straightneck squash:
I cut the tops of the peppers, discarded the stem but saved the lids. I then cut the squash in half and used a melon baller to scoop out and save the inside of the squash.
Here is my version of the recipe:
1 cup uncooked polenta
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 – 4 oz. can fire roasted green chiles
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
4-6 sweet peppers and 2 large summer squash
Canola oil or butter
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Cook polenta according to package directions. Chop pepper lids, scooped inside of squash and onions and sauté in oil or butter. Stir sautéed vegetables, cumin, pine nuts, chiles and the Montery jack cheese into the cooked polenta. Fill peppers and squash with the mixture and place in shallow casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350º F.
Remove from oven, top with cheddar cheese and bake until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh cilantro right before serving.
Makes Approx. 4 Servings
And here is my dinner, complete with fresh garden greens. Yum!