If you've been following our recipes on Inhabitots, you'll know we're huge fans of using polenta to create unique dishes. We have seen it grilled with mushrooms, turned into crispy croutons for salads and cut it into different shapes with varied healthy toppings. These delicious polenta towers see the corn maize layered with warm grilled eggplant, fresh tomato slices and basil, all dressed with a sweet, pitch black balsamic sauce that contrasts beautifully in both, color and taste. This vibrant healthy tower is a great alternative to salads. Warm, filling and very healthy, this recipe is also completely vegan. Go on, give it a try -- it tastes as delicious as it looks in the photo!
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
2. Choose the tomatoes
Choose small tomatoes, a similar size to the circle of the cookie cutter you will use.
3. Slice the vegetables
Slice the eggplant and tomatoes into a similar thickness.
Brush the eggplant with some vegetable oil and roast for about 8 minutes on each side. Let them cool and set aside.
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.
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
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!
Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitots