Saturday, January 29, 2011

Creamy Polenta with Eggplant-Mint Tapenade, Red Pepper Coulis

Another night has come upon me, where there are too many things in the fridge and not enough things being used. I hate wasting vegetables that have gone bad, luckily these vegetables are natural partners in almost all genres of cuisine.

Creamy polenta with thyme and olive oil, roasted eggplant tapenade with fresh mint and crispy zucchini drizzled with a savory red pepper coulis.

Creamy Polenta
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cups water
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated. Bring the heat to low and add the salt, cook for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. Taste and season with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.

Red Pepper Coulis
1 large red pepper
1 large garlic clove
2 tbl no-chicken vegetable broth
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to broil. Place the red pepper directly on the oven grates and char on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Place in a paper bag and close, let steam for 10 minutes then remove the skin when cool enough to handle.
Tear the red pepper in large chunks and combine in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth, set aside.

Eggplant Mint Tapenade
1 large Japanese eggplant, peeled, large dice
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 yellow onion, large dice
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbl fresh chopped mint
2 tbl fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1 zucchini, sliced on the bias
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl lemon juice and zest
1 tsp nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare a baking sheet with foil.
Arrange the eggplant, garlic cloves and onion chunks in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Roast until lightly charred and soft, 25 minutes.
Transfer to a food processor and pulse into a chunky consistency. Transfer to a bowl and toss in mint and parsley. Season to taste.

Lightly saute the zucchini with 2 tbl of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss in lemon juice, zest and nutritional yeast cook until it just starts to soften and crisp on the outside.

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