Polenta and Perfect Tomato Sauce (with Eggplant) – 2 Ways, Part 2
So here we are, a day or two after the creation, consumption, and storage of leftovers of a batch of Polenta and Perfect Tomato Sauce – 2 Ways, Part 1. In the general quest to save time and money, these two recipes combinations are splendid. And while I personally love leftovers, these two posts are different enough that they more resemble fraternal twins than outfit-matching, name-rhyming identical twin siblings. We’re a little old for that.
With the extra polenta and tomato sauce, and a small amount of prep, we have transformed our ingredients into a different meal entirely. Naturally gluten-free, polenta fries are a lovely alternative toÂ wheat pasta or potato fries. No sad, sludgey feeling after eating these guys.
To reduce bitterness in larger varieties, it is best to “sweat” your eggplant prior to cooking. As directed below, a sprinkling of salt draws out excess moisture and reduces the required cook time. This process of reducing moisture also keeps your tomato sauce from becoming watery and flavors it twofold.
With it’s sponge-like texture, eggplant is incredibly low in calories and high in fiber. It contains an antioxidant called nasunin, which fights free radicals, prevents cancer growth, and helps to repair cell wall damage. The purple colored flesh contains concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals and also is an indicator of the presence of antioxidants. It also makes for a pretty dish!
Makes about 4 servings.
Make the basic polenta recipe and double it.
When the soft polenta is ready, pour the polenta into a 8 x 8 or similar size baking dish. Allow to cool and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The cooled polenta should be firm and you should be able to cut it with a knife, and it maintain its shape.
Turn the oven on to broil and position the shelf at top of the oven. Cut the polenta into fry or stick shapes, a little less than 1 inch thick. Lightly oil each side of the fry. You can do this with spray, or by pouring a bit of your choice of oil on a cookie tray and laying each side of the fries in the oil. Position the polenta sticks on the tray so they are all flat and none are over lapping. Sprinkle with salt (optional) and place the tray on the top shelf under the broiler. Everyone’s ovens are different, so I recommend checking the fries after two minutes. I broiled mine for 10 minutes, until a bit crunchy, but some ovens will be much faster.
Eggplant Tomato Sauce
Makes about 4 servings.
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 c. of basil, chopped
Make this tomato sauce recipe.
Toss the eggplant in 1 tsp of salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for 30 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked thoroughly and soft, about 15 minutes. Once the eggplant is cooked, add in the tomato sauce just to heat and combine.
When the polenta fries are done, plate and smother with the eggplant tomato sauce and top with chopped basil. Enjoy!