Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pumpkin Polenta with Turkey Sausage and Greens

 Whenever I come across recipes with greens in them, I instantly think "Oh, delicious! I HAVE to make that," even when it is cooked spinach, which after several tries I am always disappointed in it and never learn my lesson! However, when I stumbled across Cara's Blog, I saw pumpkin polenta (delicious), turkey sausage (delicious), and swiss chard (hmmm- never had it but it sure looks delicious), I immediately knew I wanted to make it! I saw the swiss chard at the grocery store, but i chickened out and went with the safe choice of collard greens because I know I love those! Also, they come in a pre-cut and washed bag, which was a big selling point.

Nick and I both loved this! The polenta was so creamy without adding any cream or butter, and the addition of the pumpkin was not only healthy, but also really tasty. I may never make polenta without pumpkin again! We had some leftover that Nick ate for dinner the next night, and I have to admit I was a little jealous (not that the leftover soup that I had eaten for the past 5 meals wasn't delicious...) Can't wait to make this again!

Pumpkin Polenta with Turkey Sausage and Greens (adapted from Cara's Cravings)
Serves 3 
For the polenta:
  • 1.5 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup course ground polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2.25 cups of water
  • salt and pepper
For the Turkey Sausage and Greens Saute:
  •  3 links spicy turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 oz trimmed collard greens (I used half a bag of these, which are washed and ready to go)
  • 3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the turkey sausage, stirring to crumble.  Once it has cooked through, remove it from the pan and put on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  2. In the same skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until tender.
  4. Add tomatoes and collard greens to pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until they are wilted.
  5. Turn off heat and add turkey sausage back to the pan. Set aside.
  6. Combine water and pumpkin in medium or large sauce pan. Bring to a boil. 
  7. Slowly stream in the polenta, stirring constantly so it does not clump. Continue to cook stirring often with a whisk until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If you have a handy assistant, they can complete steps 6-7 while you do steps 1-5 :)
  8. If necessary, reheat turkey sausage and greens mixture.
  9. Serve by dividing polenta among plates and topping with turkey sausage and greens mixture.


  1. You know what's funny? I have never tried collard greens! I've thought about it, but always end up with my "safer" choices of spinach, chard, or kale. I'll have to give them a try :)

  2. Whit! Swiss Chard is delicious and I think you would really enjoy it! It's a bitter tasting leaf but surprising flavorful. It's much like Kale if you've eaten that. They are chock full of vitamins too!

    And pumpkin polenta.. i must try this!

  3. Ok, ok, I will give the chard a try :) You have convinced me!

    Meg- you must try pumpkin polenta before pumpkin season ends!

  4. Whitney, that looks great, and I love the addition of pumpkin to the polenta.

    I always go for the pre-cut greens. They just make things so much easier. Whenever I want kale chips, I buy the big bag of pre-cut, but if I send CD to the store, then he comes back with a head of kale. Silly boy. ;)

  5. Thanks, Heather!

    Haha, I am guessing the whole head of kale is more economical than the pre-cut... not the CD would be calculating that in his decision :)