Make use of fresh herbs if you have them, but this can also be made in the middle of winter when you are starving for the summer sun. For this reason, I used dried herbs. The recipe can be made in three stages and with different choices (eggs optional). This is a “choose-your-own-adventure” meal.
RATATOUILLE POLENTA PIE (WITH EGGS AND PESTO) serves 4-6
The Polenta — Boil 3c of filtered water, slowly add in 1c of FINE-GROUND POLENTA. Stir until thickened to the consistency of greek yogurt, it should feel stiff but still fall in on itself. Add in 2T SALTED BUTTER, 1/2 tps SALT, and 1 cup GRATED PARMESAN. Stir till combined. Pour into 8 in square brownie pan or deep pie dish, let set and cool. (Refrigerate, if making this dish in stages.)
The Ratatouille — Saute in 2T of olive oil – 1c small dice RED ONION, 2c (heaping) of each – chopped YELLOW SQUASH, ZUCCHINI, and PURPLE EGGPLANT. Add 1 GARLIC CLOVE, sliced. Cook on medium until all ingredients are soft. Turn off the heat. Preheat oven to 400 (unless making dish in stages, then skip this step). Add 1c SPAGHETTI SAUCE WITH BASIL, 1tsp DRIED OREGANO, 1.5tsp DRIED BASIL, 1/2tsp DRIED THYME, S&P. Stir to combine and let rest for 10 min for flavors to combine. (Cool completely and refrigerate, if making this dish in stages.) After the 10 min spread evenly on top of the polenta, making sure it is at least 1/2 inch from the rim.
Next up is the eggs, this is of course optional. You can finish this dish by just serving the polenta topped with the ratatouille and some additional grated parmesan, pesto or chiffonade basil.
Baking the Eggs — Once oven is preheated to 400, crack three to four eggs on top of the ratatouille polenta pie. Add S&P. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the whites of the eggs have set completely. Once set, remove from the oven.
To serve, dollop 1/2 tsp PESTO in between the eggs and place a fresh basil leaf on top of each dollop (optional).