This hearty vegetarian main dish features tender eggplant, cheesy polenta and a roasted red pepper sauce. It's perfect for entertaining friends and family who are eating more plant-based meals., August 2022


Credit: Ryan Liebe

Recipe Summary

25 mins
1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  • Place peppers on the prepared baking sheet and broil, turning often, until black all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to steam for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Combine 3 tablespoons oil, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Make several lengthwise cuts in each eggplant, leaving the stem intact. Brush the cuts with the garlic oil. Place the eggplants in a 9-by-13 baking dish; cover the dish with foil. Bake until the eggplants are soft, about 45 minutes.

  • Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and gradually add polenta (or cornmeal or grits), whisking vigorously. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened,  about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

  • Remove and discard the skins, stem and seeds from the roasted peppers. Transfer the flesh to a blender and add vinegar, paprika, tomato paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.

  • Serve the eggplants with the polenta and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 eggplant, ¾ cup polenta & 3 Tbsp. sauce
499 calories; protein 12g; carbohydrates 50g; dietary fiber 7g; sugars 8g; fat 27g; saturated fat 8g; mono fat 16g; poly fat 2g; cholesterol 31mg; vitamin a iu 2587IU; vitamin b3 niacin 2mg; vitamin b12 1mcg; vitamin c 79mg; vitamin d iu 6IU; vitamin e iu 6IU; folate 60mg; vitamin k 9mg; sodium 701mg; calcium 168mg; iron 2mg; magnesium 31mg; phosphorus 144mg; potassium 475mg; zinc 1mg; omega 6 fatty acid 2g; niacin equivalents 3mg; selenium 5mcg.