Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Soft Polenta With Roasted Delicata Squash Rings and Green Olive Tapenade

From the book Bob’s Red Mill Cookbook by
Serves 6

Culinate editor’s note: We first discovered this recipe via the Oregonian; the Oregon chef Cory Schreiber contributed it to the Bob’s Red Mill Cookbook. We love the flavor and texture combinations in this dish — and the fact that it’s elegant enough to serve to guests.


Oblong- to bottle-shaped, delicata squash has a milky skin with variegated green-to-orange lengthwise seams. Inside is golden flesh whose sweet flavor and luscious texture recall both yams and butternut squash. This recipe nestles rings of orange-roasted delicata on a bed of lemony polenta and tops the dish off with a bold-flavored, grassy-green olive tapenade.



12 to 16 large Cerignola olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 peeled shallot, finely minced
1 Tbsp. capers
4 sun-dried tomatoes, jarred or homemade, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. Chardonnay wine vinegar or white-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. red pepper flakes


4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup polenta
~ Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


2 delicata squash, peeled
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
~ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, sliced in half
6 sprigs fresh thyme
~ Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


  1. Prepare the tapenade: Combine the olives, shallot, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, wine vinegar, olive oil, and pepper flakes in a bowl, mix, and let stand at room temperature for one hour before serving.
  2. Make the polenta: Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the polenta. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is thick, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and olive oil. Let the polenta stand, covered, in the pot. (You can set the pot in a shallow hot water bath to keep warm.)
  3. Make the squash: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash into ½-inch rings. Use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds and stringy bits, then put the squash rings in a low-sided roasting pan or baking dish. (If the pan is too deep, the squash will not brown properly.) Add the olive oil, tossing to coat, then lay the rings flat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Squeeze the orange over the squash (discarding the fruit) and top with the thyme sprigs.
  4. Bake the squash for 20 minutes, or until it is golden and soft to the touch. Remove the squash from the oven and discard the thyme sprigs.
  5. Assemble the dish: Spoon the polenta onto individual plates. Grate Parmesan cheese, if using, over the polenta. Place a few delicata rings on top of the polenta in an overlapping pattern. (Alternatively, you can slice the rings into cubes and fold them into the polenta.) Spoon green-olive tapenade over the top and serve.

This content is from the book Bob’s Red Mill Cookbook by Miriam Backes.

There is 1 comment on this item
Add a comment
0% recommend this recipe
1. by Carrie Floyd on Oct 18, 2010 at 1:17 PM PDT

I love the combination of flavors and textures in this dish: creamy, lemony polenta, sweet roasted squash, and the zesty olive tapenade. So delicious!

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Our Table

Joy of Cooking app

A new tool for the kitchen

The latest in our collection of cooking apps.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Most Popular Articles

Editor’s Choice