Think seasonal with your cooking this autumn and source the freshest produce available. Look for bright cheerful capsicums and plump glossy eggplants to lift your mood and create delicious comforting food. Once cooked, the capsicum and eggplant can be stored in the freezer for future use.
Prepare this dish in advance for a relaxed lunch with friends. Take it from the fridge, warm it through, toss your favourite salad together and crack open a bottle of chilled Dookie Hills Viognier ’07.
Ingredients 1 tsp salt 9 cups water 450g polenta ¾ cup of chilli tomato pesto (in a jar) 100g baby spinach 2 red capsicums 2 yellow capsicums 1 large eggplant 150 g Gruyere cheese, grated 200g tasty cheese, grated 2 cups tomato puree (passata)
Roasted Capsicum Sauce 4 capsicums roasted 1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Method 1. Line a 25cm springform tin with plastic wrap 2. Cook polenta in water and salt. Remove from heat and stir in the pesto and spinach Pour into lined tin and allow to set in fridge 3. Slice eggplant into 5cm rounds and sprinkle with salt (use a colander for this) After 30 mins wash and dry with paper towel, brush with olive oil and grill until golden. 4. Wash & quarter capsicums and grill skin side up until skin blisters and blackens – then put them into a plastic bag to cool down – when cool enough to handle, remove the skins. 5. Mix the grated cheeses together. 6. Remove the polenta from tin. Slice horizontally into 3 equal layers. 7. Line the same tin with baking paper. Place one layer in the bottom and top with half the capsicum pieces and eggplant. Pour over half of the tomato puree. Sprinkle with one third of the cheese. Repeat layers and top the last layer of polenta with cheese. 8. Bake at 180°C for and hour then cool and allow to set overnight (this is critical – do not attempt to serve before letting it cool down and set!) 9. To serve, reheat in oven or microwave and accompany with roast capsicum sauce.
Roasted Capsicum Sauce Puree the capsicum with a dash of balsamic vinegar until smooth.