Yum! Polenta and Vegetable Bake

My friend Lauren sent me this recipe for Polenta and Vegetable Bake a few weeks ago, promising that it was both easy to make and yummy - she was right on both fronts! I made a few changes, but it turned out great and I'm looking forward to eating it for lunch all week. Thanks Lauren!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup water
10 ounces baby spinach (I used kale, and more than they called for, and it was great)
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium (I ended up using about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
14 ounces prepared polenta, sliced lengthwise into 6 thin slices (I used the already-prepared roll of polenta you can get at the store and it worked just fine)
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided (I had a leftover blend of mozarella and other cheese and used that....and added an extra 1/2 cup of cheese cause, hell, cheese is good)
I also added 1 chopped up red pepper to the mix and thought it was a great addition.


Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water and spinach; cover and cook until wilted, stirring once, about 3 minutes. Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil.

Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese.

Top with the eggplant mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes. (I cooked for the full 15 min because there seemed to be a lot of liquid). Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.



Phoebe A. Cohen said...

I made this last night for dinner and we LOVED it! Psyched to have the leftovers for lunch today :-)

Shorty said...

Oh yay! I'm eating the last of my leftovers today :)

Also, I may have shredded like a pound of pepper jack on top....