Polenta and Eggplant Terrine with Tomato and Mozzarella

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8 cups eggplants thickly sliced
10 cups polenta
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
olive oil for frying and basting
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
tabasco sauce to taste
3 large tomatoes
2 cloves garlic crushed
10 cups mozzarella (12 ounces)
4 basil leaves finely chopped

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and let drain for 1 hour to remove any bitter juices. Rinse and pat dry.

Place the polenta in a saucepan and add about half the water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently until the water has been absorbed. Then slowly continue to ad the rest of the water, stirring continuously, for about 15 minutes until the polenta is fully cooked and there are no gritty bits left. Add the grated Parmesan and salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the eggplant slices on both sides until they are dark brown in color. Place them on a sheet of paper towel to drain and while still hot, sprinkle with salt, balsamic vinegar, and Tabasco.

Slice 2 of the tomatoes thickly and very lightly season with salt, pepper, and a little of the garlic.

Slice half the mozzarella into thick slices and baste with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and the remaining garlic. Reserve the remaining mozzarella.

Now line a 1 pound loaf pan with plastic wrap. Place 2 layers of eggplant slices along the bottom, then add a layer of tomatoes, followed by a layer of polenta and one of mozzarella. Add a second layer of eggplant and press down. Turn out when cool. Finely dice the last tomato, mix with the basil leaves and some roughly broken pieces of mozzarella. Sprinkle on top of the terrine, place under a hot broiler until the cheese is melted and serve at once.

Serves 6.

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