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1 table spoon olive oil or mild coconut oil*
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 aubergine, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
400g tomatoes, chopped
1 table spoon Corinthian vinegar*- or another good quality red wine vinegar
big pinch coconut palm sugar*
10g fresh thyme, picked and chopped
10g fresh oregano, picked and chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Sweet Corn Polenta
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper
olive oil to finish
Heat a medium sized heavy based frying pan, add the coconut oil, the onions and bay leaves cook 5-8 minutes until the onions are soft.
Add the cubed aubergine and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally to help release it’s juices and ensure all sides take on colour. Once the aubergine has softened a little, about 5 minutes, add your tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and thyme and cook on a low heat stirring occasionally for 40 minutes to an hour. I know this is a long time! But it’s worth it.
You could get away with cooking for less time, but especially if you’re not peeling the tomatoes, cooking for a long time will turn them into a gorgeous, thick, silky mix.
To finish, add the oregano and stir through the olive oil, taste for seasoning, adjust as desired.
For the polenta:
Bring 800ml of vegetable stock or water to the boil. Add the thyme and bay leaves, turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes then remove the herbs from the pan. Add the polenta, bring back to the boil, whisking as you do. Turn the heat back down and continue to cook for 20 minutes, whisking frequently to stop the polenta sticking.
Season to taste, you may need more salt than you’d think to bring out the flavour.
Spoon onto your plates or serving dishes, top with the aubergine mix, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
* I like to cook with coconut oil as it has a higher smoking point than olive oil- where the fats change over a certain heat and are no longer good fats. I always finish the dish with olive oil.
* This vinegar I love but have only ever found in Wholefoods or online. It’s a Greek vinegar that’s slightly sweeter and fuller in flavour than normal red wine vinegar. If you can get it use it, otherwise another good red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar will work.
*coconut palm sugar is an unrefined sugar, you can get in big supermarkets in health food shops. I also find it’s adds a slightly richer more caramel like flavour than white too.