Summer Squash Sauté with Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta

If you’re like me, you’re desperate this time of year for recipes that call for zucchini, yellow squash, corn, and basil. Here’s the backstory on today’s recipe: Summer Squash Sauté with Corn and Polenta.

Early June, Andy and I started receiving our weekly CSA produce shares from Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, NY. Before signing up we wondered just how much produce we’d be getting. Their response, “one share was enough for two to four adults eating a plant-based diet or about 450 pounds of produce every season.” For a newbie CSA’er like me that sounded like a lot!

In fact we had drastically cut our meat consumption, and Andy often eats like two people. But could we use that much? Would we realistically cook that many nights a week?  We decided to try this out, at least for one year, to see if it would work.

Six weeks in, and I I’m sold on my CSA. It has changed the way I cook. It has changed the way I see food. It has changed the way we eat. It has changed the way I feel.

Most FAQ from my friends. “Isn’t a CSA expensive?” In fact I’ve saved more money. Because there is so much produce we just don’t eat out like we used to. Nights that I’m tired and would usually have just ordered out, I must cook! Nights “out” with my girlfriends have become “nights in” instead. And we love it!

While our share was lighter at the beginning of the season, it’s more bountiful now, and I love recipes that use a ton of vegetables. With a few pantry staples on hand, I always have what I need to make lunch and dinner at home.

My new go-to meal is this: a bunch of sautéed vegetables (sometimes I add beans too) and whatever else is in the fridge over polenta. It’s easy, filling, healthy, and delicious. Andy thinks it’s one of the best dinners I make.

I have used sautéed yellow squash and zucchini and corn because that was what was in this week’s box, but you can sub in whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand.

Summer Squash Sauté with Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta

Serves 2-4

1 cup instant polenta
4 ounces goat cheese, plus extra for crumbling
2 tablespoons oil
1 each: medium-large yellow squash and zucchini, sliced thin
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to boil in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in polenta; continue to cook, whisking frequently until polenta thickens to a soft, but not soupy consistency. Keep warm, adding water and stirring frequently to keep polenta soft. When ready to serve, stir in goat cheese.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and yellow squash; sauté until squash is soft but still holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Add corn and garlic; sauté to lightly cook. Stir in basil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste.

Pour a portion of polenta into each of 4 pasta plates; top with a portion of the squash mixture. Top with extra goat cheese and serve.