Summer squash with polenta

Summer squash with polenta


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This colourful and adaptable stew is an excellent way to deal with a glut of ripe summer vegetables. You can use pattypan - or button - squash or zucchini.

Pat Alburey

Serves: 4 

  • 1½ cups instant polenta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 500g mixed yellow and green pattypan squash and/or young green and yellow zucchini
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • salt and black pepper
  • 200g Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • a few sprigs of parsley

Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:35min 

  1. Put the polenta into a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to remove any lumps.
  2. Slowly heat the olive oil in a shallow frypan over moderate heat. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic and cook for 5–8 minutes, until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, top and tail the squash and/or the zucchini. Cut the squash into quarters, the zucchini into rounds, and add to the onions. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. When the polenta comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan, remove from the heat. Grate the cheese and beat it into the polenta along with the butter, then season to taste, cover and keep warm.
  5. Dice the tomatoes and add to the other vegetables.
  6. Finely grate the lemon rind and finely chop the parsley. Add both to the vegetables. Remove and discard the thyme.
  7. Serve the stewed vegetables on individual plates, with a portion of polenta on the side.


For extra flavour, add eggplants or red and yellow capsicums, or enrich the stew with a little crème fraîche.


good source of vitamins A, B group, C, E and folate, and calcium.

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