Baked Polenta with Eggplant and Red Bell Peppers
Adapted from The Buffet Book by Carole Peck with Carolyn Hart Bryant
(makes 12 servings)
|1||medium eggplant, 10 ounces (300 g), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes|
|1||teaspoon (5 ml) salt|
|2||large red bell peppers, 8 ounces (240 g) each|
|olive oil cooking spray|
|2||garlic cloves, minced|
|4||sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked|
|2||quarts (2 l) fat-free low-sodium canned chicken broth|
|2||cups (280 g) quick-cooking polenta|
|4||ounces (120 g) part-skim mozzarella, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes|
- Place the eggplant cubes in a colander, sprinkle with salt, toss, and let rest for at least 30 minutes to drain excess moisture.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C, Gas Mark 8). Spray the peppers with cooking spray and place in an ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Roast about 8 minutes to blister and blacken the skins. Using tongs, turn the peppers over and roast 7 minutes more. Do not over roast. When cool enough to handle, pull out the top stem and remove the seeds and skin. Pat dry. Cut into 1-inch dice and set aside.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the drained eggplant and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook 2 minutes more, until the eggplant is soft. Remove from the heat and add the roasted peppers.
- Fill a 3-quart (3 l) pot with chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour into a large baking dish or casserole. Spread the eggplant-pepper mixture evenly over the polenta, pressing it down with a wooden spoon. Top with the mozzarella cubes, pressing lightly. (Dish can be assembled to this point, covered, and refrigerated 1 day ahead. Increase the baking time by about 20 to 25 minutes if the unbaked casserole is cold.)
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, Gas Mark 5). Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
|Per serving:||119 calories (17% calories from fat), 6 g protein, 2 g total fat (1.1 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 6 mg cholesterol, 126 mg sodium|
|Exchanges:||1 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch), 1 vegetable|