Yes, another vegetable recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi, but this one has more to do with what is going on in our garden than anything. We have eggplant, lots and lots of eggplant. Why? That is very good question. Most years we get a few eggplant, but this year they are taking off. Zucchini and cukes are behind, tomatoes are also slow (even with the heat) but the eggplant are taking over half of a large bed. Gardening always surprises. At least as surprises go, this is of the “pleasant” variety.
So now we have all these eggplant and need a recipe. Carolyn simply said, “I bet YO has an eggplant recipe”. And, of course, he did. Even better, it combines eggplant with tomatoes and sweet summer corn in a “fresh” polenta dish. We don’t grow our own corn (some epic, EPIC, fails with corn in our past) but there is good local corn at the farmers market so we figured we would try out this dish, and we are glad we did.
This recipe is really two dishes. The first is a corn polenta where you cook fresh corn kernels, then process them and add a bunch of butter and feta cheese. You get something like mashed potatoes with the sweet flavor of good polenta but with a creamy, light(er) consistency. The sauce combines fried eggplant with tomatoes in a quick reduction that yields sweet rich flavors. These dishes are good in combination, but either would work on its own. We served the left over polenta with a bit of bacon and green onion and it was very good. As for the sauce, you could easily serve it with rice or pasta.