Eggplant Stuffed With Cheese Polenta
- 2 eggplants, (Asian long), tips cut off and sliced in half lengthwise
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth or more
- 1 cup coarse polenta
- 1/2 cup pitted and chopped black olives
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 medium onion minced
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- #I take enormous pride in counting the endless variations to preparing eggplant. It is a family favorite and I never tire from serving it. Here is one example to the many variations.# Preheat oven to 425 °F / 220 °C.
- Place eggplant on a baking dish and make cuts in the pulp of eggplant halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes until pulp is soft. Remove from oven. Cool a bit and spoon out the pulp into a bowl leaving about a half centimetre around the edges of the eggplant boats.
- Chop up finely. Meanwhile heat 3 cups of the broth in a pot. Just as it boils add polenta in a thin stream, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat and continue whisking for 15-20 minutes. Add additional broth if too thick. The polenta should have a thick creamy consistency.
- It will also thicken a bit more as it cools. Stir in the olives and half of the cheese. Pour polenta into a shallow dish sprinkled with a little water. This will prevent polenta from sticking to the dish.
- Cool to room temperature. Next sauté onion in 2 tablespoons of the oil until translucent.
- Add eggplant pulp and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes, stirring to incorporate finely. Taste for seasoning.
- Crumble polenta into eggplant mixture and mix well. At this point you may add about 1 /4 cup cream for a creamier texture.
- Add the rest of the cheese. Place the eggplant skins in an oven proof-serving dish and spoon polenta filling generously into each. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Combine lemon zest and thyme. Sprinkle over polenta. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until warmed through and browned on top.
- Serve with Braised Leaves and slices of tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar.