This is one of those dinners that’s great after a long day at work, when you get home and you’re looking for something straightforward and easy to make, but you also want something warm and rich and comforting. The grilled polenta and eggplant have a satisfying smoky richness to them, counterbalanced by the tangy red sauce. A side of sautéed spinach or swiss chard nicely rounds out this easy dinner. And because you’re making this on the grill, there’s less dishes!
Slice your polenta and eggplant into similar-sized rounds. Pour some olive oil into a casserole dish and dip the polenta and eggplant rounds into the olive oil, coating both sides. (Alternatively, paint each round with olive oil if you have a pastry brush.)
Meanwhile, open a large can of chopped tomatoes and heat them in a saucepan over medium heat. Add some chopped garlic, salt and pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium-low, break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, and let the tomatoes cook down into a rich sauce.
On a medium-high grill, grill your eggplant and polenta rounds. Paint each side with olive oil again when you flip them, to help with browning. The eggplant is done when it’s soft on both sides, and slightly sweet in taste. The polenta’s done when it has grill marks and is slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
To serve, layer the polenta, then the eggplant, and top with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if you’d like.
- 1 round tube of pre-cooked polenta (we get ours at Trader Joe’s)
- 1 eggplant
- 1 can of whole tomatoes
- pinch of sugar
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- several cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, if you’d like