Last week I was reading my friend Holly’s blog post, and it had me thinking about how I too, in the midst of moving to a new city and home, haven’t really had the chance to make anything that signifies summer.
I received Plenty a few years ago, and am ashamed to say I hadn’t made anything from it until last night. Despite multiple page flags and oohs and ahhs every time I flip through the book, I have never once cooked anything from it. I need to take a cue from Heidi and actually cook with the books I have - anyone else have that problem? Cookbookaholics Anonymous will meet here next week.
Anyway. I absolutely LOVED the flavor of this dish, and it can be made with frozen vegetables if you get a hankering for it and we’re sitting pretty in the dead of winter.
So, here’s to cooking with what you have, whether it be a dusty cookbook or fresh summer vegetables, and to enjoying these wonderful things while they last.
Suggested Listening: Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue (Legacy Edition)
Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Tomato Sauce (altered only slightly from Plenty)
for the eggplant tomato sauce, you’ll need:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into medium-sized cubes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes6 tablespoons water (more for thinning if desired)1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon sugar1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1/4 cup white wine1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes6 tablespoons of water (more for thinning if needed)1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon sugar1 tablespoon chopped oregano
for the polenta, you’ll need:
6 ears of corn
2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter, diced
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
To make the eggplant sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan until the oil is hot. Drop the eggplant into the oil, and carefully brown for 12 or so minutes. Drain as much oil from the eggplant as you can and discard the oil. I did this by using a slotted spoon to remove the eggplant, discarded the oil and put the eggplant back into the saucepan. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the wine and cook for an additional minute, continuing to stir.
Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for five minutes for the flavors to blend.
Remove the silk and leaves from the corn and shave off the corn kernels with a large knife. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cook for 15 minutes on a low simmer.
Drain most of the water from the corn, reserving a few tablespoons in case you need it for the next step.
Place kernels in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add reserved water in case the corn becomes too thick.
Discard remaining water and transfer corn back to the saucepan. Fold in the butter, feta, salt and some pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until polenta has reached desired consistency.
Spoon into bowls and top with eggplant sauce.