I love this recipe!!!
It is oh so simple and just effortlessly chic.
You can dress it up.
It’s kind of like going on a hot date in jeans, a t-shirt.
Which is totally my style.
(Because for the life of me, I can’t seem to walk in heels, I still manage to trip in flats, and I just feel out of place in a dress).
Smoky Italian Polenta and Eggplant Stacks
Traditional style, “ready-made” polenta log (I used Ancient Harvest) (About 500 grams)
1 medium-large eggplant, peeled, ends removed
1/2 cup castelvetrano olives, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cups mixed greens, optional for plating
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/8 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
This recipe can be done a few ways, as eggplant can be simply baked in the oven, or on the stove top in a skillet.
Let’s start with the polenta. Unwrap the polenta log, and on a cutting board, cut away the two ends, creating a flat surface on each. Carefully, and slowly, cut through log, creating 10 1/2” medallions. Put to the side.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut eggplant into 1/2” medallions. On a non-stick baking sheet, lay out each medallion as like you are baking cookies. Sprinkle each medallion with sea salt. Bake in oven for 18-22 minutes on top rack, until eggplant medallions are cooked all the way through, and just barely browning at edges.
While eggplant is baking, heat a large skillet to high heat. Once hot, quickly transfer polenta medallions to skillet, one by one, like little pancakes. Sprinkle with with 1 tsp smoked paprika, and then sear for 60-90 seconds before flipping. (It should be a nice light brown when seared right). Flip and sear the next side for an additional 60-90 seconds. Using the remaining 1 tsp of smoked paprika on the next side. Turn the heat to low, and flip again. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and cover for 2 minutes until ready to plate.
When eggplant is finished, remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature. Toss gently in a metal or glass bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 tsp of your Italian seasoning blend of choice, plus red chili pepper flakes, if using.
Start with a medium bowl of your loose mixed greens (if using). Toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Lay greens out first, and then transfer each polenta cake to the platter of greens, keeping them separate.
Next, stack each eggplant onto a polenta cake. You may choose to keep stacks to 2 levels, or alternative between polenta and eggplant.
Top with olives, and fresh basil.
Serve as is, or with a piping hot, or room temperature marinara sauce on the side.
Ohhhhhhh oh oh oh.
No ho ho humming here.
You’ve got yourself quite the cute little number.
Dress her up.
Dress her down.
All in all.