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Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe

This eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta recipe is a feast of flavors and textures. The creaminess of the polenta beautifully contrasts with the savory vegetables, making it not just a meal, but an experience.

Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe
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Photos of Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are commonly found in any kitchen. However, the cornmeal used for the polenta might be a bit tricky to find. Look for it in the baking aisle of your supermarket. Depending on your location, it might also be labeled as polenta. If you can't find it, you can substitute with grits.

Ingredients for Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Polenta

Olive oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables and incorporated into the polenta for a rich flavor.

Onion and garlic: These add a savory depth to the vegetable mixture.

Eggplant: The star of the dish, eggplant gives a delicious meaty texture.

Tomatoes: Fresh and canned tomatoes add a juicy tanginess that contrasts well with the other ingredients.

Parsley: Adds a fresh and slightly peppery flavor to the dish.

Salt and pepper: Basic seasonings that enhance the flavors of the dish.

Water: Used to cook the polenta.

Cornmeal: The main ingredient of polenta, it gives a creamy and satisfying texture.

Parmesan: Added to the polenta for a touch of cheesy goodness.

One reader, Kienan Troyer says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta recipe is a game-changer! The flavors blend perfectly, and the polenta is so creamy. It's a hearty and satisfying dish that's perfect for a cozy night in. I love how the ingredients come together to create a delicious and comforting meal. Highly recommend!

Kienan Troyer

Techniques Required for Making Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Polenta

How to sauté onion and garlic: Sauté the onion and garlic in a large nonstick frying pan over moderate heat until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

How to cook eggplant: Heat oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.

How to make polenta: In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Whisk in the remaining oil and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick, about 20 minutes.

How to serve: Serve the hot polenta topped with the vegetable mixture.

How to pair with wine: Open an earthy salice salentino from dr. cosimo taurino, made from the obscure negro amaro grape, which is one of the best wines from Italy's Apulia region.

How To Make Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta

This polenta recipe yields a light lunch meal that comes with a rich and hearty vegetable stew of tender eggplants, tomatoes, and onions!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 10tbspolive oil
  • 1onion
  • 5garlic cloves
  • 1large eggplant,(about 1¾ lbs)
  • 2tomatoes,(about ¾ lb)
  • 1cuptomatoes in thick puree,canned, crushed
  • 3tbspfresh parsley,chopped
  • tspsalt
  • ¼tspfresh ground black pepper
  • cupwater
  • 1cupcoarse cornmeal,or medium
  • 6tbspparmesan,grated

Instructions

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to brown. Remove.

  2. Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until golden. Add the onion mixture, fresh and canned tomatoes, parsley, and 1 teaspoon of the salt.

  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thick. Stir in the pepper.

  4. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and the remaining 1¼ teaspoons of salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

  5. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for about 20 minutes until the polenta is thick. Stir in the Parmesan.

  6. Serve the hot polenta topped with the vegetables, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 578.38kcal
  • Fat: 38.62g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.14g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 25.90g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.19g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.00g
  • Fiber: 8.60g
  • Sugar: 10.77g
  • Protein: 11.01g
  • Cholesterol: 9.48mg
  • Sodium: 1525.88mg
  • Calcium: 219.39mg
  • Potassium: 774.23mg
  • Iron: 3.01mg
  • Vitamin A: 88.41µg
  • Vitamin C: 24.57mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Polenta

When cooking the polenta, it's crucial to add the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly. This prevents the formation of lumps and ensures a smooth, creamy texture. Also, remember to stir frequently as it simmers to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Polenta Recipe

Plan ahead: Prepare all the ingredients and utensils before starting to cook to streamline the process.

Multi-task: While the polenta is simmering, use that time to prepare the vegetable topping to save time.

Use pre-cut vegetables: Consider using pre-cut vegetables to save time on prep work.

Make extra: Prepare a larger batch of polenta and vegetable topping, and store the leftovers for a quick and convenient meal later in the week.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a large, deep skillet or pot to cook the polenta and vegetable topping simultaneously, saving time on cleanup.

Prep in advance: Chop the vegetables and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator a day before cooking to save time on prep work.

Substitute Ingredients For Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, adding a delicate taste to the polenta.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a similar flavor without the need for mincing or sautéing.

  • eggplant - Substitute with zucchini: Zucchini can be used as a substitute for eggplant, offering a similar texture and mild flavor when cooked.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with red bell peppers: Red bell peppers can add a sweet and slightly tangy flavor similar to tomatoes, while also providing a vibrant color to the dish.

  • tomatoes in thick puree - Substitute with tomato sauce: Tomato sauce can be used as a substitute for thick puree, providing a smooth and concentrated tomato flavor.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with fresh basil: Fresh basil can be used as a substitute for parsley, adding a fragrant and herbaceous flavor to the polenta.

  • parmesan - Substitute with pecorino Romano: Pecorino Romano cheese can be used as a substitute for Parmesan, offering a similar salty and nutty flavor to enhance the polenta.

Essential Tools for Making Polenta with Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato

  • Large nonstick frying pan: A pan with a nonstick coating to prevent food from sticking during cooking.
  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a handle and a lid, used for boiling, stewing, or making sauces.
  • Wooden spoon: A kitchen utensil with a long handle, typically used for stirring and mixing ingredients.
  • Whisk: A cooking utensil used for blending ingredients smooth and incorporating air into mixtures.
  • Knife: A sharp tool used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing food.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Tools used to measure precise amounts of ingredients for recipes.
  • Grater: A kitchen tool with sharp-edged holes used to shred or grate ingredients like cheese or vegetables.
  • Strainer: A device used for separating liquids from solid ingredients.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and heating food.
  • Wine opener: A tool used to remove corks from wine bottles.
  • Serving dish: A dish used for serving food to guests or family members.

Storing and Freezing Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Polenta

  • To store leftover polenta, let it cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan with a splash of water or broth until heated through and creamy.

  • For the eggplant, onion, and tomato topping, store in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.

  • To freeze the polenta, let it cool completely, then cut into individual portions. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, unwrap the desired number of portions and place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through and creamy.

  • The vegetable topping can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then warm in a skillet over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.

  • When reheating frozen polenta or vegetable topping, you may need to add a splash of water or broth to help restore the original texture and consistency.

How To Reheat Leftover Polenta

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the leftover polenta in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the top.

  • For a quicker method, reheat individual portions of polenta in the microwave. Place a serving on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through.

  • To reheat the eggplant, onion, and tomato topping, place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture is heated through, about 5-7 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add a splash of water or vegetable broth to maintain a saucy consistency.

  • For a crispy texture, spread the leftover polenta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the top with a little olive oil and broil for 3-5 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve with the reheated vegetable topping.

  • If you have a stovetop grill pan, reheat slices of polenta until they develop attractive grill marks. This method adds a smoky flavor and interesting texture to the dish. Serve with the warm eggplant, onion, and tomato mixture on top.

Random Fact About Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Polenta

The eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta recipe is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines the flavors of fresh vegetables with the hearty texture of polenta. This dish is a great source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to any meal. Additionally, the combination of eggplant, onion, and tomato provides a rich and savory flavor profile that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you're a fan of Italian cuisine or simply looking for a new and exciting recipe to try, this eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta dish is a must-try!

Is Making Polenta with Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Economical for Home Cooking?

The cost-effectiveness of this eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta recipe is quite favorable. The ingredients, such as eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and cornmeal, are generally affordable and readily available. The dish offers a satisfying and flavorful meal for a family of four. The approximate cost for this recipe would be around $15-20, making it a budget-friendly option. Considering the affordability and the delicious outcome, I would rate this recipe a solid 8 out of 10 for cost-effectiveness and taste.

Is This Polenta Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta recipe is a relatively healthy dish, offering several nutritional benefits:

  • Eggplant is low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Onions and garlic provide antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, vitamin C, and potassium
  • Polenta, made from cornmeal, is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based grains

However, there are a few aspects that could be improved to make the recipe even healthier:

  • The dish uses a significant amount of olive oil, which is high in calories. Reducing the oil content or using a lighter cooking method, such as grilling or roasting the eggplant, could lower the overall calorie count
  • The recipe calls for a considerable amount of Parmesan cheese, which is high in saturated fat and sodium. Opting for a reduced-fat cheese or using a smaller quantity could help make the dish more heart-healthy

To further enhance the nutritional value of the recipe, consider the following suggestions:

  • Incorporate additional vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach, to increase the fiber content and provide a wider range of vitamins and minerals
  • Use whole-grain cornmeal for the polenta to boost the fiber content and provide more complex carbohydrates
  • Experiment with herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, or red pepper flakes, to add flavor without relying on excessive amounts of salt or cheese
  • Serve the polenta and vegetables with a lean protein source, such as grilled chicken or tofu, to create a more balanced and satisfying meal

Editor's Thoughts on This Eggplant, Onion, and Tomato Polenta Dish

The combination of eggplant, onion, and tomato in this polenta recipe creates a rich and flavorful dish. The use of olive oil, garlic, and fresh parsley adds depth to the flavors. The polenta provides a comforting and hearty base for the vegetables. The addition of parmesan gives a nice savory note to the dish. Overall, this recipe offers a satisfying and well-balanced meal. The wine recommendation of an earthy salice salentino complements the dish perfectly, enhancing the dining experience.

Enhance Your Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the flavorful eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest, adding a bright and refreshing element to the hearty polenta dish
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Crisp Brussels sprouts coated in a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze, providing a delicious contrast to the rich flavors of the eggplant, onion, and tomato polenta

Alternative Recipes Similar to This Polenta Dish

Spicy Eggplant and Tomato Stir-Fry: This stir-fry recipe is a perfect combination of spicy and savory flavors, with tender eggplant and juicy tomatoes. It's a quick and easy dish to make for a weeknight dinner.
Onion and Tomato Frittata: This frittata recipe is a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of onion and tomato, with the added richness of eggs. It's a great option for a weekend brunch or a light dinner.
Tomato and Eggplant Ratatouille: This classic French dish is a flavorful combination of eggplant, tomatoes, and other vegetables, cooked to perfection. It's a great option for a vegetarian main course or a side dish for a dinner party.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with This Polenta Recipe

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory and indulgent stuffed mushrooms. Perfect for any gathering or party, these bite-sized treats are sure to be a hit.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with these classic bruschetta. The perfect combination of crunchy bread, ripe tomatoes, and flavorful herbs, these appetizers are a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a velvety smooth and rich chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake, with a buttery graham cracker crust and a sweet strawberry topping. This classic dessert is a crowd-pleaser and a delightful way to end any meal.

Why trust this Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe:

This recipe is a testament to the culinary prowess of our team. The combination of eggplant, onion, and tomato creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The use of olive oil and fresh parsley enhances the dish's richness. The careful instructions ensure a successful outcome, and the addition of parmesan adds a delightful finish. Trust in the expertise behind this recipe, and savor the delightful flavors it has to offer.

Share your thoughts on the Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes Polenta Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Join the discussion and let us know if you have any tips or variations to this delicious dish!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of oil for this recipe?
Yes, you can use other types of oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil as a substitute for olive oil. However, keep in mind that it may slightly alter the flavor of the dish.
Can I use instant polenta instead of the coarse or medium cornmeal?
Instant polenta can be used as a substitute for the coarse or medium cornmeal. However, the cooking time and consistency may vary, so it's important to follow the package instructions for the instant polenta.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the polenta and vegetable topping ahead of time. Store the polenta and vegetable topping separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the polenta and vegetable topping in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Can I freeze the leftover polenta?
Yes, you can freeze leftover polenta. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Can I add other vegetables to the topping?
Absolutely! Feel free to customize the topping with additional vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms to suit your taste preferences. Just ensure that the vegetables are cooked to your desired tenderness before serving.

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