This is going to sound a bit 'chefy', but I made this today and it turned out so delicious I thought I'd share. It is vegan, but you could use dairy products if you want.
Aubergine and Kale Stacks with Red Pepper Cream Sauce, Braised Puy Lentils and Polenta Croutons
For the Braised Lentils:
1 can lentils
1 small red onion, diced very fine
2 medium carrots, diced very fine
Sweat the onion and carrot down in the olive oil until onions are translucent and mixture is beginning to caramelise. Deglaze the pan a bit at a time with the liquid from the can of lentils. When the veg is very soft, add the lentils, salt and pepper to taste, and some chopped fresh parsley. Continue to simmer until the lentils are done to your liking while you continue on with other stages of this recipe, then set them aside to keep warm.
For the Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Roast 2 red bell peppers in the gas burner of your stove top, or under the broiler of the oven. When they are charred, put them in a paper bag or covered bowl to rest 10 minutes. Continue with other stages of recipe.
For the Aubergine Stacks
2 aubergines (eggplants, each sliced into four slices longways)
kale or other greens of your choice, chopped and cooked in boiling water, drained and all excess moisture pressed out
2-3 tablespoons of sundried tomato tapanade (or other highly seasoned, strong tasting thick, tomato-based pasta stir-through type sauce--I used the tapanade because that's what I had)
Rub a bit of olive oil on the aubergine slices and put in oven for 15 minutes or so at around 350F to start the cooking process. Combine the chopped greens and tomato tapanade. Set mixture aside.
For the Polenta Croutons
Mix 200g polenta into 800ml boiling water or seasoned vegetable stock. Cook and stir for five minutes or until very stiff. Pour into lightly greased dish and allow to cool and set.
Finishing it all up...
Peel the roasted peppers and pull out the stems and seeds. Put them in a small saucepan with 2 crushed garlic cloves and a small amount of water or vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the polenta into cubes and toss in a bit of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and set aside.
Puree the pepper and garlic mixture and seive it back into the saucepan. Mix the red pepper pulp into the greens and tapanade mixture. To the red pepper sauce in the pan, add enough soy cream (or dairy cream if you prefer) to lighten the sauce. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Set aside.
Take the aubergine slices out of the oven. Spoon one quarter of the greens mixture onto each of four of the aubergine slices. Top each with the remaining aubergine slices and press down a bit. Cover lightly with foil and return dish to the oven. Put the polenta cubes in the oven as well. Bake all for about 30 minutes. Check and toss the polenta cubes often. You want them to be golden and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Take the foil off the aubergine stacks for the last 10 minutes or so to allow the tops to brown a bit.
To serve, plate up one aubergine stack per four plates and ladle one quarter of the red pepper sauce over each. Divide remaining food amongst the four plates. (Obviously, this dish serves four! Hubby and I ate it for both lunch and dinner today.)
Hubby declared this 'the food experience of the millenium', but then he gets really excited when I make oven chips and baked beans...
May all beings be at ease.