Everyone has a that one go-to dish that is easy to make, quick and most importantly always a crowd pleaser… and, well, this is mine. Not to “toot my own horn” or anything, but I think this is just the best meal ever. The kind of meal you almost don’t want to make because you actually eat so much of it you get slightly sick. The meal that you plan a big walk for right before dinner that way you have more room to eat. Come on, you know what I’m talking about… Anyways, while I could keep this recipe for myself, I think I am beginning to like you guys too much to do so, so turn your taste buds on and here we go!
1 Large Purple Eggplant or 7 Thai Eggplant, sliced thin into circles
1 Roll of Pre-Cooked Polenta, cut into 1/2 circles
1 Handful of Fresh Basil, chopped finely
3 Twigs of Rosemary (Pull rosemary off twig)
1 Jar of Pesto
1-2 Handfuls of Pine Nuts
3-4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Unheated Sea Salt to taste
For Drizzling: Thick Balsamic Vinegar or Reduced Balsamic Vinegar
Optional Toppings: olives or roasted red pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place 1 Tbs of Olive Oil in a large skillet (You might need to use two separate skillets to fit all of the polenta) and heat to medium. Add slices of polenta.
3. Coat the bottom of a cooking sheet or Pyrex baking dish with olive oil and add eggplant slices. Coat eat eggplant slice with olive oil and lightly sprinkle eggplant with salt and rosemary. Place in oven, cook for about 20 minutes or until eggplant is soft.
4. The olive oil should begin to slightly bubble, but keep at a lower heat so you are not frying them. Flip polenta after the side lightly browns and continue cooking until both sides are lightly browned and slightly crispy.
5. Take half of the jar of tomatoes and slice into bit pieces. Set aside.
6. After the 20 minutes, or when the eggplant is cooked, take out and let cool.
7. Once polenta is ready, remove from skillet and place on a dish or cooking rack.
8. Now we are going to assemble the components, creating a tower. If you used a regular eggplant, it goes first. If you used Thai eggplant, polenta goes first. So for a regular eggplant we have: Eggplant, Polenta, Pesto, Sun-dried Tomato, chopped Basil, Pine Nuts and drizzle with reduced or thick balsamic vinegar.
9. Serve and Enjoy!
By the way, sorry for the lack of better directions but I just usually wing this recipe and the measurements do not really matter much since it really depends more on your personal preferences. I have faith that you chefs out there use your common sense and taste buds to determine the small details 🙂