Grill, grill, grill! Indoors or out. Can you resist striped grill marks? Even the mauve zebra eggplant in this recipe is striped. And these stripes won’t make you look fat. Enjoy how the lemon-garlic roasted veggies complement the smooth, slightly sweet cheese-topped polenta.

Healthy recipe

Grilled Green Polenta

  • 3 T honey
  • 3/4 T kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 c instant fine cornmeal
  • 4 scallions, just the greens
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, stemmed
  • 1 c baby spinach
  • 1 c baby arugula (optional)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • Pecorino Romano
To prepare the greens: Dip the scallions, parsley, spinach and arugula into a pot of boiling salted water. Stir and cook for 1 minute, until softened. Drain and rinse in cold water to halt cooking. Squeeze water out then blend with the oil in a food processor.
To prepare the Green Polenta: Boil 4 1/2 cups of water. Add honey and salt. Slowly add the polenta while whisking. In less than 5 minutes, it will thicken. Add the blended greens. Spread the mixture evenly into a 10 x 14 inch baking pan. Let cool, then refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
To grill the Green Polenta: Cut around the edges of the hardened polenta. Slice into rectangles or triangles. Spray lightly with olive oil. Grill on the BBQ for about 2 minutes per side, or roast in the oven. Sprinkle with pecorino Romano, and serve with Marinated Grilled Vegetables.

Italian Antipasto

Madonna del Piatto Grilled Lemon and Garlic Marinated Eggplant and Zucchini (note: marinating takes a few hours)

  • 2 eggplants, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 T chopped parsley (or basil)
  • sea salt

Stack eggplant and zucchini in batches on a plate making no more than two layers. Microwave the eggplant for 2 minutes at power level 7 until it just starts getting moist and tender. Place the olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in shallow casserole to make a marinade. Grill the slices on the BBQ or in a grill pan without oiling them. That way, you’ll have no smoke.

As soon as the slices are cooked through and slightly charred, dip them briefly in the marinade, then stack them on a plate. When all the slices have been grilled and dipped, return them to the covered casserole to marinate for a few hours. Serve at room temperature. Season with sea salt, and sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Jittery Cook Eggplant

Final notes:

  • Credit for heavily inspiring these recipes go to Mario Batali and the wonderful Madonna del Piatto.
  • Jittery Cook (moi-même) takes full credit for combining the two recipes. Hope you like!
  • Most commas are courtesy of my dear friend, Harriet Sugar Miller. It seems that the poltergeist in me that cooks and writes is too spent to figure out where commas belong–amongst other grammatical oversights. Congratulations to Harriet for her second well researched Huff Post article.
  • I apologize for the length of this post. That’s what happens when you join two recipes to create a new taste sensation!