Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grilled Eggplant, Polenta and Tomato Tower

Last night I went to a great concert where I was surrounded with 18,000 people that were as inspired by the music as I was. Many of these people are like minded and as I walked in the parking lot admiring the wares people were selling I was struck by the fact that the food that was being sold was vegetarian and
made with love from other concert goers.

The inspiration for this dish comes from them and also from a friend who recently 'stacked' polenta.
Eggplant, Polenta and Tomato Tower

1 small eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/4-1/2" rounds
1 tomato sliced
1 Vidalia onion very thinly sliced
1 pkg polenta (unseasoned) sliced into 1/4-1/2" rounds
Olive oil cooking spray
Several basil leaves
1 cup balsamic vinegar for the balsamic vinegar reduction (see below)
Kosher salt

Heat grill or grill pan to high.
Salt eggplant slices with coarse kosher salt and put into a colander to drain (about 15 minutes). Pat dry with a paper towel and spray eggplant and polenta with olive oil cooking spray. Place eggplant and polenta on heated grill until grill marks are visible on each side and polenta is crispy on the outside. Remove from grill.

Balsamic reduction:
Place balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil until vinegar is reduced to 1/3-1/2 cup. *Note this will thicken as it cools and extras can be saved in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Assemble the stacks by placing an eggplant slice topped with a polenta slice, an onion slice, a tomato slice and a basil leaf. Repeat until the tower reaches desired height. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.


  1. I have been following your vegan choices and honestly I am intimidated with the complexity. Sometime in the future, can you do a couple simple vegan fixers that could help me better take the plung.

  2. gerry, this polenta stack is very easy and very delicious! the polenta is pre-made

  3. added you to the list! i love your site!!! best vegan blogs:

  4. YAY! Thanks Kathy. I love your site, too :)

  5. The balsamic I usually buy costs £25 for 250ml, is it ok if I use a cheaper one for this?

  6. fizzee rascal- absolutely! I used plain 'ol cheap grocery store balsamic and it was great!

  7. Great, I was unwilling to use the expensive stuff, I'll give this a go now.