RECIPE

Green Caponata with Sweet Creamy Polenta

Substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock in this recipe for a completely vegetarian meal! The slivered almonds on top add a flavorful crunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 small or medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, chopped
  • 4-6 celery heart ribs with tops, chopped
  • 2 medium size onions, or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, grated or chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup green Sicilian pitted olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 20 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preparation

Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat with three turns of the pan of EVOO, about three tablespoons. Add the eggplant and toss to coat in the EVOO; cover the pot with a lid and cook for 10 minutes or until the eggplant starts to wilt and get tender.

Remove the lid and add the cubanelle pepper, celery, onion, garlic and raisins; season with some salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring every now and then for about five minutes. 

Add the olives and the balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Once you have the eggplant going, start the polenta: place the chicken stock and milk in a saucepot over high heat. Bring it up to a bubble, then pour in the polenta in a slow, steady stream while constantly whisking. Add the honey and butter, and season with some salt and pepper.


Add the parsley and basil to the caponata and stir to combine. Divide the polenta between four shallow bowls and top with some of the caponata, followed by some of the toasted slivered almonds.

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Rachael Ray