Eggplant Stew with Polenta SquaresClick to Play

Eggplant Stew with Polenta Squares

Mary Ann Esposito

Ideally this wonderful and economical stew will taste best if small young eggplant are used but medium size is fine.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 cups chicken broth, water or milk  
1 cup stone ground corn meal  
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
   
1/4 cup Filippo Berio Light olive oil  
4 to 6 small  eggplants or 2 medium size eggplants, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch squares  
1 onion, peeled and diced  
2 large cloves garlic, minced  
1 cup tomato sauce  
1/4 cup red wine  
1/2 cup oil cured olives, pitted and cut in half  
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley  
1/4 cup minced fresh basil plus 8 extra whole leaves  
Fine sea salt to taste  
Grinding black pepper  

Directions 

In a heavy 2 quart sauce pan bring the liquid to a boil. If using water, add 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the cornmeal and cook stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and moves away from the sides of the pan. Stir in the cheese.

 Spread the mixture onto an oiled cutting board and smooth it to about 1-inch thick. Cover with a piece of oiled wax paper and place in the refrigerator for several hours. (This step can be done a day ahead)

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. When the oil begins to shimmer add the eggplant and onions and cook over medium until the eggplant browns and the onions take on some color.  Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.

Combine the wine and tomato sauce in a small bowl and pour over the eggplant mixture.  Lower the heat to simmer and cover the pan. Cook about 20-30 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir in the olives, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.

Keep warm while you cut the polenta.

Cut the polenta into 3 inch squares and brown them on both sides in extra virgin olive oil. Transfer to a dish as they brown.

 To plate: Place two squares on each of 4 dinner plates.

Top with some of the eggplant mixture and garnish with a few fried basil leaves.

Serve hot.

This recipe is featured on show 2309 - Polenta with Vegetables.

item recipe is featured in Episode 2309 of Season 23.

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