Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

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

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Zosia
    August 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    What a fantastic dish to showcase those beautiful farm fresh vegetables, and happily fulfills the mystery box challenge. It's often just those little touches like the tomato paste and wine that make Ottolenghi's recipes so special.

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    August 17, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Eggplant sauce sounds delish!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    August 18, 2015 at 5:29 am

    I would never have thought of making fresh polenta, and it sounds good with the eggplant sauce. Sometimes simple is the best!

  • Reply
    Kim
    September 1, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I am so happy you made this dish! This recipe has appealed to me since receiving his book. Fresh polenta made from seasonal fresh corn…it simply has to be phenomenal! Looks very comforting and delicious. Another amazing dish.

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    September 6, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I have never made fresh polenta but this recipe always catches my eye. You have inspired me to give it a try the next time I get some good corn. It looks amazing. 😉

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