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  • Recipe Room  »  Griddled polenta with spicy sweet and sour aubergine



    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ red onion, finely sliced
    • 250g aubergine, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm cubes
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 2 heaped teaspoons soft light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
    • 1 quantity of Creamy Parmesan Polenta
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To serve

    • rocket leaves dressed with lemon and olive oil
    • toasted pine nuts

    Griddled polenta with spicy sweet and sour aubergine


    In Italy, polenta is often left to firm up and then later sliced and fried or grilled. It is a wonderful creamy canvas for toppings such as mixed mushrooms, when in season, or this easy recipe using aubergines and tomatoes.


    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or frying pan and gently soften the onion for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    Turn the heat up to medium, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and stir-fry the aubergine for 10 minutes or so. Return the onions to the pan before adding the garlic, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, capers, seasoning and 3 tablespoons of water. Cook for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have collapsed and the aubergine is very soft.

    Towards the end of the cooking time, trim and slice the polenta into 8 slices, each 1–2cm thick. Fry in a non-stick frying pan in olive oil until golden on both sides (a couple of minutes each side).

    Place 2 strips of polenta onto each plate and serve the aubergines on the side, with a few dressed rocket leaves and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts.

    Amazing Grains cover image

    Amazing Grains by Ghillie James. Published by Kyle Books, priced $39.95. Photography: Jonathan Gregson. 

    Submitted by
    Ghillie James

    Tips and Tricks

    • To save time, make the polenta in advance and leave it to firm up in a container, then simply cut it up when you’re ready to cook.

    • Store tomatoes at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Shift them to the fridge when they’re at risk of becoming over-ripe to slow the ripening process.

    • If you don’t have any fresh tomatoes on hand you can use half a tin of chopped tomatoes, strained, in place of the fresh tomatoes.

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