Eggplant Boats Stuffed with Gorgonzola Polenta

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1-1/2 pounds or 2-large eggplant
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarse grind polenta
1/4 pound kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/4 pound gorgonzola cheese
1 medium onion, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon thyme or combination of thyme and lemon zest

1~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tips from the eggplants, wash and slice in half lengthwise. Make little crosscuts in the pulp, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place on a baking sheets, cut side up, and roast for 20 minutes.

2~ Meanwhile, heat 3 cups broth to boiling in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and add the polenta in a stead stream, whisking constantly, until thickened. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently and adding additional broth if necessary. The finished polenta will have a thick, creamy consistency.

3~ Rinse a 14x16-inch metal pan with cold water . Shake off the excess water but do not dry. Stir the olives and cheese into the polenta and pour into the pan. Cool to room temperature.

4~ Remove the eggplants from the oven and carefully scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/4-inch in the shell. Chop finely. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet and sauté the onion over low heat for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the eggplant pulp and sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

5~ Using your hands, crumble the cooled polenta into the eggplant mixture and mix well.

6~ Fill the eggplant boats with the polenta and eggplant. Place in an ovenproof pan. Drizzle the boats with the remaining oil, sprinkle with lemon thyme, and bake in a 450 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

VARIATIONS: For a creamier filling, add 1/4-cup cream at the end of step 5. Serves 4



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