Polenta Sandwich with Marinated Eggplant

(2 votes)

2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/4 cup soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
salt and black pepper to taste
Marinated Eggplant
1 small to medium eggplant, cut into 8 slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

To Assemble
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
8 slices mozzarella cheese

For the polenta, place broth, basil, and garlic in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, so that you don't get lumps. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese and butter, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper. Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan, pour polenta into pan and spread evenly. Chill until polenta is set, about 1 hour.

In the meantime, prepare the eggplant. Place the eggplant in a large bowl. In a small bowl stir together garlic, vinegar, 1/4 cup oil, pepper, and thyme, mixing well. Pour marinade over eggplant and marinate for at least 1 hour. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan until very hot. Add as many slices of eggplant as will fit in the pan, and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and drain on a plate. Set aside.

To assemble, preheat oven the 350°. Remove polenta from pan and cut into 8 equal squares. Place 4 polenta squares in a greased baking pan and spread each square with about 2 teaspoons of goat cheese. Place a slice of cooked eggplant on top of each square. Then top with a slice of mozzarella and another square of polenta. Place 2 more teaspoons of goat cheese on top of the polenta, then add a second slice of eggplant and mozzarella. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and starting to turn brown. Remove from oven and serve hot with tomato sauce or Roasted Pepper Salsa.



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