The fresh corn polenta in this dish is insanely delicious. I could eat it every meal of the day- so sweet, rich, and fabulous!! It would be lovely with absolutely any topping. It will be the only polenta I will ever make in sweet corn season. Worth every bit of effort. I hope I’m not overdoing my rave review!! 🙂
This dish was adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. I reduced the amount of oil in the eggplant sauce by half and extended the cooking time for the polenta. Such a special meal!
Yield: Serves 4
For the Eggplant Sauce:
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (I used 14.5 oz diced canned tomatoes)
- 6 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and fry the eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it. (I decreased the oil and didn’t have excess oil to drain.)
- Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce.
- Set aside; warm it up when needed.
For the Polenta:
- 6 ears of corn
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 7 ounces feta, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the leaves and “silk” from each ear of corn, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels — either stand each ear upright on its base and shave downward, or lay each ear on its side on a cutting board to slice off the kernels. You want to have 1 1/4 pounds kernels.
- Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and barely cover them with the 2 1/4 cups water.
- Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid. (I used a Vitamix.) Process them for quite a few minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process.
- Now return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to mashed potato consistency.
- Fold in the butter, the feta, salt and some pepper and optionally cook for a further 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Divide the polenta among shallow bowls and spoon some warm eggplant sauce in the center.
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