Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Polenta and Eggplant Appetizer




How good is this Polenta and Eggplant Appetizer ?
On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10!


Top with eggplant Stew and serve

I love the presentation and the eggplant sauce is very rich and flavorful.  It's hard to believe how fast and easy it was to make. It took about 10 minutes prep and about 20- 30 minutes to cook.

I found the recipe on a blog called, I Was Born to Cook. Melissa, the blog's author, is my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of November. When I searched through her blog, it didn't take me long to decide to make  this recipe. After all, it was naturally gluten free, naturally vegan, and made without any processed foods; just that way I like it.  Since, the recipe looked quick and easy, I thought, "let me give this one a try."

I'm not usually a recipe follower ( I usually create my own from what looks good in the produce store) except when I publish for the Secret Recipe Club where we are expected to follow our assigned blog's recipe.  I have to admit, this some of the ingredients in this recipe was very different from anything I would have usually made. I never cook with wine, and I would never think of adding tomato paste to a sauce. However, I followed Melissa's recipe to the Tee ,and I am glad I did.

The eggplant stew was absolutely delicious. The wine ( the alcohol cooks off)  and tomato paste added a richness that made this meatless meal exceptionally  flavorful. I will be adding those to my list of ingredients to draw from.

We ate the eggplant sauce over polenta  as suggested by Melissa. We loved it that way,  but I think it  would be equally good over a gluten free pasta.
This recipe can be made as a dinner entree or cut into little rounds and served as an entree, as I did.
 If you eat cheese, grate a little fresh parmesan on top.


Polenta and Eggplant Appetizer
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 eggplant, cubed
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons tomato paste
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup red wine

Directions:

Add 3 tablespoons Olive oil to a medium sized saucepan. Add onion and garlic.  Saute for about 1-2 minutes, then add eggplant.  Stir and add remaining oil, plus salt and pepper, basil and parsley.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes, then add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.

Finally, stir in tomato paste, marinara and wine.  Cover, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Pictures Step by Step

Chop garlic, onions, Roma tomatoes, and eggplant . Saute in olive oil until soft.


Add a really good tasting natural marinara sauce, the basil , parsley, tomato paste and wine; stir & simmer for 20 minutes


                        


Recipe for Basic polenta- follow the instructions on the box. When polenta is done, pour it into a Pyrex pie pan that you have sprayed with olive oil spray and leave for about 10 minutes ( so it forms the shape of the pan) . Turn pan upside down on a dinner plate and top with eggplant stew.


Put polenta into a sprayed pie plate for shaping wait 10 minutes




Invert from pie plate to dinner plate


Another variation:
I cut my polenta with a round cookie cutter and made individual polenta rounds topped with eggplant stew.




Cut out rounds of polenta with a cookie cutter



Secret Recipe Club'

Interested in finding out how to join the Secret Recipe Club, click here.
Thank you to Amanda of  Amanda's Cooking , founder of Secret Recipe Club, for all of your hard work coordinating, expanding ,and supporting everyone in the Secret Recipe Club.  You do an amazing job!

I love your comments. You can leave one by scrolling down to the end of the post and click on comments


This recipe is being shared on Katherine Martinelli  blog carnival

The following recipes are from 73 bloggers in the Secret Recipe Club that join together each month to support the blogging community and are not necessarily gluten free, vegetarian, prodcuts. when looking at those recipes, use your descression and better yet make substitutions. Most recipes can be altered .
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25 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked it! We love this recipe...it's delicious and soooo easy! :)

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  2. Melissa,
    We absolutely loved it. It was a great recipe and you have a great blog.

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  3. This sounds great! Easy and delicious!

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  4. Oooh, this looks amazing! I love polenta - so warm and comforting. Looks amazing with the tomato sauce on top! :)

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  5. I love a tomato based eggplant sauce.This is very much up my alley and polenta is something I enjoy so much and always forget to make. Really looks awesome.

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  6. Don't forget to make this recipe. It is so easy and you will love it.

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  7. Sara,
    If you love polenta you will enjoy this recipe and its easy too.

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  8. Love polenta in all forms! Thanks for a great post. :)

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  9. This looks amazing.

    Thanks for linking it to Totally Tutorial Tuesdays :)

    Jessica
    http://myworldmadebyhand.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog! This polenta recipe looks delicious!

    I'm following you now too!

    Stephanie

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  11. WOw this looks great! Hearty, healthy, and delicious! I love eggplant with marinara sauce in any combination:-)

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  12. I just happen to have eggplant in the fridge and polenta in the pantry. Looks like this one is on the menu this week.

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  13. I'm starting to really get into eggplant. This sounds lovely and guest ready!

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  14. Mmmm this sauce sounds so flavorful! I love your presentation with the polenta.

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  15. This looks fabulous - nice work!

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  16. I love polenta and I make it quite often in my house. I love how you cut it, so lovely. The sauce looks delicious too!
    The Secret Recipe Club seems like so much fun, I'm seriously thinking about joining soon.
    BTW, the English version of my cake is up, sorry for the delay :)

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  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm your newest follower.

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  18. This is an awesome appetizer! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  19. i just want the polenta! it looks so pretty! thanks for linking to foodie friday! Not Your Ordinary Recipes

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  20. Can you do this in a crock pot? If so,I would love for you come link this up to The CSI Project this week starting wednesday at midnight. It is the slow cooker challenge and this is perfect.
    Come by all week for great recipes and tutorials. You could win the top prize or our giveaway for the week. It is fabulous!
    Hugs
    Dee
    www.thecsiproject.com

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  21. This looks so yummy! I got to try cutting polenta out with a fancy cookie cutter. Gotta buy a cookie cutter though. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul blog hop.

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  22. Wow this is just stunning and so healthy! I am pinning and tweeting this! Thanks for adding it to the Thanksgiving party!

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  23. this looks beautiful and i am sure it is delicious too..especially since you gave it a 10 out of 10! :) thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club. i tweeted your recipe, but not sure if you are on twitter..if you are, i would love to follow you.

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