Eggplant has a reputation for either being breaded and fried in oil, or watery and flavorless. In this Italian take on a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, eggplant is oven-roasted in a heavy-bottomed pan, then combined with sautéed mushrooms, onions, crushed tomatoes, and olives to make a thick, chunky vegetable filling. This is then covered with a layer of cooked cheesy polenta and broiled until bubbly for an easy vegetarian meal. Serve it with a fennel salad.
Special equipment: If your cast iron skillet isn’t well-seasoned, use a heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet or enameled cast iron pan.
This recipe was featured as part of our Easy Weeknight Vegetarian Main Dishes.
For the polenta and to assemble: