The accompanying eggplant sauce is made by frying cubes of eggplant, then folding them into chopped tomatoes, white wine, and fresh oregano.
After the corn was cut from the cob, the polenta was incredibly easy to put together. The sauce can be made ahead of time, and actually improves with age. Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce is the dish I'll dream about in the middle of January.
If you don't have room in your cookbook library for Plenty, many of the recipes are available online, and I'll post as many as I can here. Check the Index as we get closer to Thanksgiving, and hopefully you will find all of the recipes we made. For now, hunt down the last of the summer corn and tomatoes, and some perfect eggplants, and make the Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce. You won't be sorry. Leftover eggplant sauce can of course be served over traditional polenta (the feta makes it special, so spring for the good imported kind), pasta, or scooped up with crusty bread.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil (I prefer grapeseed oil for frying)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch dice
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 6 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 6 ears corn
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter, diced
- 7 ounces feta, crumbled (like Mt. Vikos imported from Greece)
- 1/4 teaspoon slat
- freshly ground black pepper
- First, make the eggplant sauce. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and fry, tossing now and then, until nicely brown, about 15 minutes.
- Drain off as much oil as you can, or do what I did and transfer the eggplant to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all the oil.
- Add the tomato paste to the pan along with the eggplant, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside, and warm up when ready to eat.
- Next, prepare the corn for the polenta. Remove the husk and silk from each ear, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Stand each ear upright on its base and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels. You want 1 1/4 pounds of corn kernels.
- Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cover them with the water. Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid. Process them for a few minutes to break down the kernels. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry.
- Now return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 or 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens into a mashed potato consistency. Fold in the butter, the feta, salt and some pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Divide the polenta among shallow bowls and spoon some warm eggplant sauce on top.
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