Real polenta makes a big difference

I am a huge fan of Ottolenghi in London.  I own all their cookbooks too.  When I saw a recipe for real polenta and an eggplant sauce on Food52 there was no doubt I was going to have to make it for the weekend.  I didn't exactly follow the eggplant part because I thought it needed more eggplant. The recipe below is what I did.  I served the polenta under a piece of fish with the eggplant sauce over the fish.  Really delicious. 


5/6 medium sized eggplants cut into cubes (the more the merrier)

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1/2  cup white wine

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (could easily use canned too)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp. chopped oregano

In a medium sized sauce pan cover the bottom with vegetable oil.  At a high heat put in the eggplant cubes.  Turn down to medium and saute until browned.  Takes about 15 minutes and it sticks to the bottom.  You can always put in a little more oil. 

Once the eggplant is done take a slotted spoon and transfer the eggplant into another medium sized sauce pan.  Add in the tomato paste and wine and cook for about 2 minutes on a medium heat. 

Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir until incorporated and warm.  I found out that the recipe really needed more eggplant so I browned up some more and added it to the pot and through in a little more salt and sugar.  The one above should work but it doesn't, this is an easy recipe to doctor to your liking


7 ears of corn – take all the kernels off

1 tbsp. butter

8 ounces feta cheese


In a medium sized pan put in the kernels and cover them with water.  Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.  The kernels should be soft but still have a bite. 

Using a slotted spoon transfer the kernels to a Cuisinart and pulse until they have formed a paste.  Don't throw out the water.  You can truly puree it or leave it a little chunky.  I left it a little chunky. 

Put the mixture back into a new medium sized sauce pan and add about 1/2 cup of the water that the corn boiled in.  Then add in the butter and feta cheese.  Mix until incorporated.  Serve.

I made it in advance.  Before serving I warmed it up and then added in the butter and feta. 

Really amazing. 



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Comments (Archived):

  1. Stuart Willson

    I recently bought my mom, an avid cook, Plenty. LOVES IT. I’ve been getting photos of dishes weekly.

  2. kirklove

    Polenta FTW! One of my favs. Yum.

  3. Marla Aaron

    Hi Joanne, I just posted about your recipe and how it inspired a slightly different version… Thank you (as always!) for the wonderful inspiration!Here is the post