This dish is using ingredients from the local farmers’ market. Among my favorites vegetables I have been stocking up on are: white corn (Jersey Silver Queen), heirloom tomatoes and eggplants of all varieties and shapes. More than I could ask for, this dish is doing double duty. It satisfies the three-ingredient minimum out of the MBM Mystery Box Madness ingredients challenge in August at IHCC. I can’t be happier making another summer dish, especially using recipes from the talented Yotam Ottolenghi.
I made fresh polenta a few weeks ago with halibut based on a Jacques Pepin’s recipe. The idea of making polenta out of fresh corn, in a food processor or blender, was new to me. I was blown away by the green, smooth, sweet, flavorful and earthy taste of the “fresh” polenta. It has since become my go-to polenta whenever fresh corn is available.
In Ottenlenghi’s recipe, he recommends cooking the corn kernels first in water under a low simmer. I skipped that step and went straight to the Vitamix, similar to that in Pepin’s recipe. Since it worked for me last time in the halibut dish, I opted for a simplified approach while retaining and maximizing the unadulterated freshness of the corn flavor I like.
I was blown away again — this time by the deep flavor of the eggplant sauce. Two teaspoons of tomato paste and some white wine, plus a few minutes of simmering on the stovetop was all it took for the sauce to come together. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, that the eggplant sauce tasted as amazing and well balanced, against the polenta. The dish was made with all the humble everyday farmers market vegetables. Very plain but with fancy results!
|4 MBM ingredients: corn, tomato, feta and oregano|