I decided to invite some people over this weekend and grill out. So that meant that we needed to get out the grill and do a trial run. This was pretty easy, though more time intensive since we use charcoal. But charcoal tastes so much better to me.
Polenta with grilled eggplant and heirloom tomato sauce – serves 2 as a main course
- 1 package trader Joe’s precooked polenta sliced thick (or your own made from scratch, chilled and cut into rectangles)
- 3 large tomatoes (I used Purple Cherokees from my garden!) – cut in half width-wise
- 1 small eggplant sliced thin
- 1 medium zucchini sliced thin
- Handful fresh basil chopped
- A couple of sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1 Tbl. tomato paste
Make sure your coals are hot, but not all flamey and get ready to grill! First we’re going to grill the tomatoes, so we can use them and make our sauce. Spray a little oil on the cut side of the tomatoes and place cut side down on the grill. You will cook this a couple of minutes until they are cooked through to almost the top end. Once you take them off the grill they will cook the rest of the way.
Mix the eggplant and zucchini slices with some salt and oil then put on the grill in singles layers. You won’t need to cook these long, plus we want to achieve a meaty texture with these veggies. After they are cooked on both sides remove from grill and mince them. Sprinkle the slices with fresh ground pepper. Set aside for now.
- Heat a non-stick pan
- Scrape out the insides of the grilled tomato into a food processor with basil and oregano – puree
- Pour into the hot pan
- Add tomato paste
- Cover partially, and cook over low heat until it thickens a bit.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
Slice in thick slices, oil the surfaces that will be exposed to the grill, and grill on both sides until it is done enough for you. Mine tried to let the grill cut into them, and I’m not quite sure why. I just flipped them if they looked like they were starting to sink in.
put it all together:
Lay a few slices of polenta, cover with the eggplant/zucchini mixture, cover with your thickened sauce and a couple of small basil leaves.
I really liked the smokey flavor the grill gave the veggies. I’ll be making this again. It’s easy and looks impressive.