Eggplant Polenta Bites

Over the past few days I have noticed that a lot of the food blogs based in the US have been posting recipes for finger foods or appetizers that they recommend for Superbowl parties. I live in Maryland and even though I am not a football fan (I am a die-hard soccer freak instead!) I feel that this year I should get into it because after a long time team my part of the country has made it to the Superbowl. The Washington Redskins won the Superbowl in 1992, the year that I had first moved to this area and now twenty years later the Baltimore Ravens are in the finals…so I guess I have no choice but to get into it! I have been invited by some good friends to their Superbowl party. I have to take some healthy appetizer and so I thought up of this combination of polenta, eggplant, roasted grape tomatoes and goat cheese. These make small 2-3 bite sliders that would work well at a rowdy football party!



1.    One tube of cooked polenta (I use the organic polenta from Trader Joe’s)
2.    25-30 grape tomatoes (I used yellow and red ones)
3.    2-3 ounces of fresh goat cheese
4.    15-20 thin flakes of good quality Parmesan Cheese
5.    5-6 small Indian eggplants (or use any other kind of eggplant)
6.    4-5 cloves of garlic
7.    A few sprigs of fresh thyme
8.    Salt and pepper to taste
9.    1 tablespoon of Pomegranate molasses (or aged balsamic vinegar)
10.    2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
11.    1 tablespoon honey

Cooking Directions

1.    Heat the oven at 350 degrees.

2.    Cover a small cookie sheet with tin foil and spread the small tomatoes over the sheet and sprinkle about a teaspoon of olive oil on it and place the tomatoes in the oven for 15 minutes.

3.    While the tomatoes are getting roasted, cut the Indian eggplants into halves (if you are using a regular eggplant, just cut it in slice about half an inch thick).

4.    Heat an iron skillet on low heat and pour 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in it and place the eggplant pieces into the skillet (face down, if you are using the Indian eggplant). Slowly cook the eggplant over low heat on both sides. Half way through the process of cooking the eggplant, add the peeled cloves of garlic to let them get cooked slowly in the skillet.

5.    In a large nonstick pan, pour 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and heat this pan on low heat.

6.    Slice the Polenta tube into slices about ½ inch thick and place them in the nonstick pan.
7.    While the Polenta and the eggplant slices are getting cooked, take the roasted tomatoes out of the oven (after 15 minutes of roasting).

8.    Place all the roasted tomatoes (and the juice that they released at the bottom of the pan) into a small bowl. Make the sauce by adding salt, pepper, honey, pomegranate molasses (or balsamic) over the roasted tomatoes.
9.    Finely chop up a few leaves of Thyme and put those over the roasted tomatoes.

10.    Take the cooked garlic cloves out of the skillet and coarsely mash them with a spoon and add them to the bowl containing roasted tomatoes. Mix everything gently.
11.    When the polenta looks crispy and toasted on both sides, take it out of the pan and place the cooked slices on a cookie sheet.

12.    Place a slice of the cooked eggplant on each cooked polenta slice.

13.    Top each slice with a little bit of the roasted tomato sauce and a little bit of goat cheese.
14.    Place these in the oven for another 4-5 minutes to melt the goat cheese a little bit.
15.    Garnish with a slice of shaved Parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh thyme on top. Serve while the polenta bites are still hot!


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  1. Permalink Submitted by Shilpa Patel on Mon, 28/01/2013 - 00:37

    looks absolutely delicious!

  2. Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Mon, 28/01/2013 - 21:39

    Thanks Shilpa!!!! Its an easy appetizer to make…alas, I had no one to serve it to, so some of it had to be trashed (and I hate throwing food away)… 🙁

  3. Permalink Submitted by Rupali on Tue, 29/01/2013 - 11:27

    Ooooh, this is droolworthy!!!

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 29/01/2013 - 22:53

      Hey Rupali – yes this was a good experiment! It turned out very cute looking – almost like it were made in a fancy restaurant…I’m planning to use this as an appetizer at the next party I organize 🙂

  4. Permalink Submitted by Surbhi Lal on Mon, 04/02/2013 - 20:09

    Hey Shabnam

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it for my superbowl party and my guests LOVED it. They packed off the leftovers for later. This really was easy to make. I did not have the small Indian eggplants so I used slices of a long eggplant and it worked well too. Another thing I added was a light sprinkling of some Tony Chachere seasoning ( basically a cajun seasoned salt) to the eggplant while grilling it. Just added a lil salt to that step.

    The whole thing came out well. WIll make again. 🙂


    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Mon, 04/02/2013 - 21:07

      That’s great Surbhi 🙂 I am glad that you were able to follow the recipe even though I couldn’t send you the pics! Fortunately the site is back up now so hopefully we won’t have to resort to sending Word files again 🙂 Did you have a good time at the Superbowl party – I am not so into football (am a soccer freak!) but I was thrilled that a team from Maryland one!

      • Permalink Submitted by Surbhi on Tue, 05/02/2013 - 03:18

        I had seen the pics and the recipe was enough for this one.
        Yes not that I’m hugely into football but its a great excuse to have a party and try some new dishes for the occasion 😉

        Thanks FnS!

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