Oven-caramelized squash and tangy blue cheese make this creamy side hearty enough to double as a vegetarian entrée. It makes an excellent weeknight supper crumbled with crispy bacon or prosciutto and served with a simple green salad and a glass of crisp, sweet Sauternes or creamy Chardonnay.
SERVES 4 TO 6
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped or sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
1 cup stone-ground yellow grits
1 cup milk
1 cup (3 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the squash with the olive oil to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the squash is baking, bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the 2 teaspoons salt and slowly add the grits in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook and stir for 15 to 20 minutes, until the grits begin to thicken. Add the milk and continue to cook and stir for another 5 minutes, until the grains are tender and the mixture is thick.
Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese, butter, and rosemary, stirring to melt. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired.
Place the grits on a platter or divide evenly between individual serving plates and scatter the roasted squash on top. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola, garnish with rosemary, and serve warm.