Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

1. Gather the ingredients

  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • a pinch of marine salt and pepper

Sweet balsamic sauce:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp syrup (or honey)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes

Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

2. Choose the tomatoes

Choose small tomatoes, a similar size to the circle of the cookie cutter you will use.

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Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

3. Slice the vegetables

Slice the eggplant and tomatoes into a similar thickness.

Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

4. Roast

Brush the eggplant with some vegetable oil and roast for about 8 minutes on each side. Let them cool and set aside.

Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

5. Cut the polenta

Cut the ready-made polenta into circles using the cookie cutter. Make sure each circles’ thickness is similar to the thickness of the eggplants and tomatoes. Here are the instructions for making polenta from scratch.

Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

6. Roast the polenta circles

Brush the polenta circles with some vegetable oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden. If you prefer them even crispier, you could saute them in a nonstick skillet with a little oil over medium heat. Let them cool and set aside

Italian polenta, polenta tower, balsamic and honey, vegan recipe,

7. Make the sweet balsamic sauce

Combine the balsamic vinegar, syrup, bay leaves and red pepper flakes in a bowl and stir until the syrup is dissolved into the vinegar and the sweet sauce thickens. Pile up the warm polenta circles, tomato and eggplant slices and basil, and pour as much sweet balsamic sauce as you want. Buon appetito!

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Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitots