Sweetcorn Polenta with Tomato Aubergine Sauce

September 13, 2011 8 Comments

I bought Ottolenghi’s book Plenty  couple of months ago. When I found out I would go to London, to Food Blogger Connect I knew I wanted to visit one of his restaurants. Thanks to my food lover food blogger friends they agreed to come with me.
One day before the conference we did a foodie tour around London. Our first stop was at Borough Market. It is one of the largest food markets in London, and sells a large variety of foods from all over the world. The market, which has focused historically on fruits and vegetables, has in recent years added stalls dealing with the fine food retail market. Stallholders come to trade at the market from different parts of the UK and traditional European products are also shipped over and sold. Amongst the produce on sale are fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. There is also a wide variety of cooked and snack food on sale for the many tourists who flock to the market. I was in heaven! I loved the market so much and I couldn’t stop taking photos!

Then we had a nice coffee at Monmouth Cafe – apparently they sell the best coffee in London which I can prove! OK, I didn’t taste all the coffees in London but Monmouth was definitely the best one I tried.

The next stop was at Neal’s Yard. It is a small alley in Covent Garden between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street which opens into a courtyard. It is named after the 17th century developer, Thomas Neale. It now contains several health food cafes and new age retailers such as Neal’s Yard Dairy. It is easy to find the shop because you can smell the cheese from distance. The company buys cheese from about seventy cheesemakers on farms around Britain and Ireland and they sell the cheese in their two shops in London and to shops and restaurants all over the world.

We ended the day in Nopi at Ottolenghi’s newest fancy restaurant in Soho. Seven food bloggers  (Nando, Giulia, Beth, Sarka, Mowie, Mayssam and myself) plus Bruce got together and shared the delicious but small meals. According to the menu the dishes are designed for sharing. That was what we exactly did. And we laughed. A lot.

By the way… the recipe I’m sharing with you is from the book, Plenty

Sweetcorn Polenta with Tomato Aubergine Sauce

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the polenta
- 3 corn cobs
- 300 ml water
- 20 g butter
- 150 g feta, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper

For the aubergine sauce
- 1 medium aubergine, cut into 2 cm dice
- 1 canned tomatoes (peeled)
- 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 30 ml dry white wine
- 50 ml water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
- salt, pepper
- pinch of cane sugar
- olive oil

To make the polenta, remove the leaves from each corn cob, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Stand each cob upright on its base and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels.

Place kernels in a saucepan and cover them with water. Cook for 10-12 minutes on low simmer. With a hand blender puree the kernels with water (break as much of the kernel case as possible).

Return the corn paste pan to the stove and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Fold in the butter, feta cheese, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add the aubergine and 2 more tablespoons olive oil and fry on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes (can + fresh) and stir with the aubergin. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the white wine and water. Season with salt and pepper, add the pinch of cane sugar and oregano. Cook for another 10 minutes to get a deep flavoured sauce.

Divide the polenta among bowls and spoon some warm aubergine sauce on the top.

Comments (8)

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  1. this is absolutely amazing, a real polenta made from scratches!!
    and what lovely memories!

  2. Zita says:

    Thank you for your nice comment, Giulia! :)

  3. What a beautiful post, Zita! I really love the recipe that you have shared and your memories of London where it was so lovely to meet you. Wonderful polenta, it looks very warming and I love aubergines :-)

  4. Looks like you have tasted your way around London. Great photographs! :)

  5. Zita says:

    Ren,

    thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you like the recipe. Hope to see you again next year! :)

    Julia,

    I really had a wonderful foodie tour in London. More posts are coming about it! :)

  6. Wow, Zita, so delicious! :-) I love polenta but I’ve never made it from fresh corn before. Wonderful! :-)

  7. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in London – Borough Market is just so amazing isn’t it? I love Ottolenghi too…his recipes are incredible and if you ever make it to his shops, the cakes…yum! I’ve made this polenta recipe before and it’s gorgeous – great post.

  8. Zita says:

    Krista!

    Make polenta from fresh corn. It’s so yummie!

    The little loaf!

    Thanks for your comment. If I go back to London I’ll definitely try one of Ottolenghi’s other restaurants. Borough Market is my love! :)

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