Rosemary Polenta Chips and Baked Aubergine with Red Pepper & Basil Sauce.

Its cold outside, and snuggling up to the log fire with tea and home made cakes is all very well.
But its time I think to bring a bit of sunshine into the dining room with some lovely Mediterranean flavours.

Although we do love cooking seasonally at Trigony, every once in a while in the winter months its good to have a break from the season, and you can’t help but wish for a wee bit of summer! I think this dish does the job splendidly.
The following recipe really is an ideal way to blow away those January Blues, It is a lovely vegetarian Dish served on its own or at Trigony we also serve it with Rosemary Roast Chump of Lamb

Rosemary Polenta Chips and Baked Aubergine with Red Pepper & Basil Sauce:

For the Polenta Chips:
1 cup of Medium Polenta meal
2.5 cups of water
1 sprig of fresh Rosemary finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
30-50 grms of Freshly grated Parmesan
A shot of virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat stir continuously, as the polenta heats it will thicken, and eventually it will simmer slightly. the end result should be a mixture just thick enough to stand a spoon in, if it is to thick add a little more water.
Pour the mixture into a plastic container and leave it to set (about an hour).
When cool slice into chips roughly the thickness of a finger, fdust with maize flour and deep fry until crisp.

For the Baked Aubergine:

4 Aubergines
Virgin Olive Oil
Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to around 180 C Slice the Aubergines into rounds roughly the thickness of a finger and place on a baking tray, brush on the olive oil, sprinkle with dried Oregano and salt & pepper.
Bake in the oven until Golden brown

For the Sweet Red Pepper Sauce:

3 Red Bell Peppers, chopped into small pieces (Ideally Moroccan which taste far better than the Dutch ones)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 sprig of thyme
Virgin Olive oil
4tbs of Balsamic Vinegar
200ml of Stock (chicken or Veg)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 sprig of Basil chopped
Put the Peppers, Garlic, Thyme & Olive Oil into a small pan, place on a low heat with a lid on and sweat until very soft.
Take the lid off, turn the heat to high and add the vinegar. Reduce until there is barely any vinegar left in the pan and add the stock, bring to a rolling boil and reduce slightly, season to taste, & puree with the chopped Basil.
Putting this dish together is great fun and there is plenty of room to experiment. We simply stack the Aubergine putting a little of the Sweet Red pepper Sauce in-between each layer & surround the stack with the Polenta chips, and enjoy.