Polenta & Vegetable Bake
This healthful and comforting vegetarian casserole is perfect on a cool night or any time of year when you want to remember clear, brisk October evenings. Make It a Meal: Enjoy with a glass of Zinfandel and for dessert, biscotti dipped in a fresh-brewed cup of coffee.
• 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 each medium eggplant, diced
• 1 each small zucchini, finely diced
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 cup water
• 10 oz. baby spinach
• 1 1/2 cup prepared marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
• 14 oz. prepared polenta, sliced lengthwise into 6 thin slices
• 1 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
Preheat oven to 450 degrees 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. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.