Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 35 mins
Look for precooked polenta logs in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. If using fresh plum tomatoes,, peel them by scoring an X in the bottom with a pairing knife and plunging them into boiling water for several seconds; transfer to an ice bath, and let cool. Slip off and discard peels and seeds. This recipe is for fall weather and the coming of winter - I know I am getting ahead of myself but I want to save this, MarthaStewart.com with some tweaking.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes or 2 lbs canned plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1⁄2 cup sliced mushrooms (use button or cremini)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 3⁄4 cup loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
- fresh ground pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1⁄4 lbs medium eggplants, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 16 ounces log precooked polenta, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- Preheat oven to 400ºF degrees with rack in upper third.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat; add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms cook, stirring, until soft and lightly golden, about 8 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in vinegar, oregano, basil & Italian seasoning; season with pepper.
- Remove sauce from heat.
- Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat; lightly brush eggplant slices with the remaining tablespoon oil.
- Working in batches, lay slices in skillet in a single layer; cook until browned and they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a plate.
- Spoon about a cup tomato sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish, spreading to coat evenly; arrange eggplant slices snugly in a single layer.
- Spoon about 1 cup tomato sauce over eggplant, and arrange polenta rounds in slightly overlapping slices on top.
- Repeat with sauce and another layer of eggplant.
- Finish by dotting with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover with foil; bake until bubbling and juicy, about 30 minutes.
- Remove foil; continue baking until sauce is lightly caramelized and eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; let cool slightly, and serve.
This is probably a 5 star recipe with a little tweaking. It was really tasty, but it was a lot of work. (2 skillets plus oven, and in my case I cooked the polenta in a pot, also!) I'll mix some spaghetti sauce in with the polenta next time. Also, when the recipe says "tomato sauce," I think it means the tomato/onion/mushroom mixture, which for me wasn't anything close to a "sauce." Also, the recipe says "pepper" when I think it means "red pepper flakes," so I inadvertently didn't add those until the very end. Would've been a lot better with the heat mixed evenly through. This is a great mixture of ingredients, but the recipe could use some polishing and tweaking. Thanks for posting Manami, I hope to try it again!
Wow! This is a keeper. I followed the recipe, except I made polenta. Easy to do, and the familly loved it!