This dish is vegetarian and gluten free and can be made vegan by omitting the goat cheese. Fresh ingredients make cooking outdoors feel like home!
1 eggplant, sliced into 1 inch discs (preferably 2 slices per person)
½ cup of salt (to prevent eggplant from becoming bitter and soggy, will be washed off)
20 small tomatoes (about 3 per person), chopped
18 white mushrooms (about 3 per person), sliced
1 large onion (any color), diced
5 cloves of garlic, diced
2-3 chopped tablespoons of each: fresh basil, rosemary, oregano, and parsley
1 roll of pre-prepared polenta, sliced into ¾ inch discs (preferably 2 slices per person)
1 bag of fresh spinach
¾ cup of pre-prepared pesto
½ cup of goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the eggplant at least an hour in advance. Lay the slices in a large bowl or plate and cover both sides with salt. This will extract the bitterness of the eggplant. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered or until it resembles a thick tomato sauce. Cook off as much of the liquid as possible.
- Prep your plates for serving by putting a handful of fresh spinach on each.
- Rinse salt from eggplant. Set aside.
- Heat oil on a grill plate. Heat both polenta and eggplant slices on both sides until cooked through and grill marks appear. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any leftover fresh herbs. Set aside.
- Scoop a portion of the tomato sauce onto each plate, atop the spinach. Place two slices of grilled eggplant on top of the tomato sauce, followed by two slices of grilled polenta, a dollop of pesto, and a dollop of goat cheese.
- Serve right away and enjoy!