Polenta Stacks with Eggplant, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella

From Bon Appetit



2 cups water                                                     ½ tsp salt

½ cup yellow cornmeal                                     ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1 TBSP butter                                                  ¼ cup chopped fresh basil



2 lg. Japanese eggplants, each cut into ½ inch thick rounds

Olive Oil

4 lg. Plum Tomatoes, each cut into ½ inch thick rounds

Balsamic Vinegar                                             

Dried Oregano

1 7 ¾ oz package small fresh mozzarella balls in water, drained

12 Fresh Basil Leaves


For Polenta:  Bring 2 cups of water and salt to a boil in a heavy small saucepan.  Gradually whisk in cornmeal.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until polenta is very thick, whisking constantly, about 6 minutes.  Remove from heat, add cheese and butter, whisk until melted.  Mix in basil.  Season generously with pepper.  Spread in a 9×9 inch pan, chill until cold, about 1 hour. (can be made 1 day ahead, cover and keep chilled)

For Stacks:  Preheat Broiler.  Place eggplant on baking sheet, brush with oil on both sides; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Broil until brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Arrange 12 tomato slices on a large plate (discard end slices).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle each slice with a few drops of vinegar.  Sprinkle eggplant and tomatoes with oregano. 

Preheat oven to 375.  Oil a baking sheet.  Cut polenta into 25 squares.  Place 12 squares on sheet.  Top each with eggplant round, cut cheese into 1/3 inch thick slices; place atop squares.  Top each with a tomato slice.  Bake Polenta stacks until heated through and cheese melts, about 15 minutes.  Top each stack with one basil leaf.