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Pumpkin Polenta with Kefir-Honey-Walnut Sauce

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Served as appetizer or main course, these pumpkin polenta pancakes make a delectable meal. You should share this dish with a friend or two--believe me, it will be the conversation of every party. Serves two.

Served as appetizer or main course, these pumpkin polenta pancakes make a delectable meal. You should share this dish with a friend or two believe me, it will be the conversation of every party.

Pumpkin Polenta Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cornmeal
2 cups (500 mL) water
Sea salt, to taste
6 Tbsp (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) pumpkin, peeled and cut in wedges
1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh mint and star fruit, for garnish

Sauce:
1 cup (250 mL) kefir
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
1/2 cup (125 mL) roasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).

To make the polenta, bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium-size pot. Slowly add one cup (250 mL) of cornmeal, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for seven to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Before the polenta starts to thicken, season with salt and pepper and add two tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil. Stir until thick. Remove from heat and let cool.

In the meantime, place pumpkin in a baking pan, drizzle with maple syrup and butter and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and mash with a potato masher. Let cool.

Mix together the polenta and pumpkin and shape the mixture into patties. Dip in remaining cornmeal and panfry in four tablespoons (60 mL) of olive oil until both sides are golden brown.

To make the sauce, mix honey, kefir and walnuts in a bowl. Place pumpkin polenta pancakes onto plates and pour sauce over top. Garnish with mint and star fruit and serve. Serves two.

Source: alive #216, October 2000

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