Baked brinjal-and-tomato polenta

Baked brinjal-and-tomato polenta

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • Woolworths Pinotage 2017


  • 3 medium brinjals
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 litre chicken or c
  • 160 g polenta
  • 1⁄2 t salt
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 125 g Pecorino or Parmesan, grated, plus extra for sprinklng
  • basil leaves, a few
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 x 400 g can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1⁄2 cup water, stock or wine
  • 1⁄2 t dried oregano
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Peel the brinjals and cut in half lengthways. Season lightly. Place, cut side down, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spoon over the oil, cover with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes, or until tender. Cool slightly, then cut into cubes. 2

To make the tomato sauce, gently soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Crush the tomatoes with the juice and add with the remaining ingredients. Simmer, almost covered, fairly briskly, stirring occasionally, for 20–30 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thick. Check the seasoning. Add a pinch crushed chillies if you like a bit of a bite. There’s no need to blend the sauce.

To make the polenta, bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan, then reduce the heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta until thick. Take care as the polenta may splutter. Remove from the heat.

Turn half the polenta into a 28 x 18 cm greased baking dish. Mix the cubed brinjal with the tomato sauce and add the garlic. Check the seasoning. Spoon the brinjal over the polenta, then sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheese. Add a few basil leaves, then spread over the remaining polenta and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake at 200°C for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. If you want it browner, turn on the grill. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Pass around grated cheese for sprinkling at the table.

Cook's note: This makes a filling vegetarian meal on its own. Or serve it as a substantial side with roast lamb or chicken.

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Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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