Wednesday, 13 May 2015

MADE: Aubergine and Courgette Polenta Bake

I've never really used polenta that much in cooking other than in my Mum's wonderful salmon fishcake recipe. With that in mind, I thought I'd rustle up something completely new and kind of throw caution to the wind with, with regards to the ingredient list, it was a little more trial and error (so I think it's probably wise to just sprinkle the polenta out of the packet onto the veggies further into the recipe until all of it has a light covering...)

I must say, this was delicious and so easy. I incorporated my go-to ratatoullie recipe that I tend to include in anything that requires a tomato-based sauce. It really is perfect.

All you need to serve 3-4 people (depending on portion size):
2 aubergines, sliced
3 courgettes, sliced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 tsp mixed herbs
200g feta cheese
1 tsp sundried tomato pesto (optional)
1 tbsp tomato puree
100g polenta - I sprinkle this out of the bag usually so this is a complete guess!
A handful of sundried tomatoes (optional)
salt and pepper, to season 

Lets get started...

First things first, preheat your oven to 180 (fan assisted) and grab an oven proof casserole dish.

Grab the aubergine and chop into slices. Do the same with your courgettes. My cheat tip for anybody wanting to speed this up. Pop all the sliced veggies onto a plate and microwave in bursts of 60 seconds. You'll probably need to do this for 3-5 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave.

In the meantime, heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan on a low-medium heat and gently fry your onions. You'll need to do this for around 5 minutes until they are soft. 

When soft, add the tin of chopped tomatoes to the onions and allow to reduce on a low simmering heat. Once reduced, add the mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper to season. Throw in your sundried tomatoes if you're using them. Also add your tomato puree now and sundried tomato pesto if you're using it. 

Allow your ratatouille to simmer on a low heat. Whilst you start to build your bake.

Get your casserole dish and make a layer of aubergine and courgette.

Pour over some of your ratatouille to cover most of the vegetables. Sprinkle some polenta over - it only needs to be a thin layer. Crumble over a little feta.

Repeat the process a couple of times or as much as the amount of vegetables you have requires.

To find add a double layer of polenta by sprinkling it over the top of the bake and crumble more feta on top.

Pop in the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes.

I served mine up with some fresh spinach but you could have this with lemon kale or even a side salad.


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