Polenta Rounds with Eggplant Caponata – Gluten-Free + Vegan!

Our recipe theme for the month of September is gluten-free and we are excited to once again welcome guest contributor Beth of Tasty Yummies!

This super simple dish is a wonderful way to celebrate everything that September has to offer. It isn’t quite autumn yet, but if you are anything like me, once Labor Day passes, I am already looking for those comforting fall flavors. What better way to embrace it than with a delicious eggplant caponata served over top crispy polenta rounds with just a little melted cheese.

This is great as an appetizer, a snack, or just on its own as a meal. So many great flavors come from the fresh and in-season eggplant, tomatoes and pepper, and that is complemented so nicely with the fresh basil and the tart red wine vinegar. Top it off with your favorite vegan cheese (I like Daiya) or if you aren’t vegan or dairy-free, a sprinkle of a  shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese.

eggplant caponata recipe

Polenta Rounds with Eggplant Caponata – Gluten-free + Vegan

Makes about 15-18 rounds

eggplant caponata recipe

Eggplant Caponata

Makes about 2-3 cups

{This is likely more than you will need for the polenta rounds, but it is great on its own, tossed with pasta or rice, etc.}

1 medium eggplant, diced

2-3 medium tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup black olives, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

2 small stacks celery, diced

1 pepper, diced (I used a beautiful cubanelle pepper from our CSA, but you could also use a green or red bell pepper)

Pinch or two red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss well to combine and coat everything in the oil and vinegar.  Pour the mixture to a (9×13) glass baking dish.

Bake for 45 minutes  to an hour until eggplant is tender. Remove the caponata from the oven and then start preparing your polenta.

eggplant caponata recipe

Polenta Rounds

1 – 18 ounce tube premade organic polenta* (I used a basil garlic polenta)

Preheat your broiler on high. Cut the polenta into 1/2″ rounds and place on greased cookie sheet. Place in the hot broiler, cook for 10-12 minutes until warmed and slightly browned, flipping a couple times during cooking. Make sure to watch carefully so they don’t burn.

*Alternately, if you wish to make your own polenta, just cook a batch to your liking, spread it on a baking sheet while still hot in a 1/2″ layer, and cool it in the fridge for an hour or until firm, then use a juice glass to cut small disks out of the polenta.


1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or vegan cheese such as Daiya (which I used)

Fresh basil for garnish

When the polenta rounds are warmed through and slightly browned, top each round with a spoonful of caponata and a sprinkle of cheese or vegan “cheese”. Broil for another 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately with a little chopped basil.

eggplant caponata recipe

For more of Beth’s recipes, visit her blog Tasty Yummies.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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11 years ago

Thank you FP for choosing gluten free for your theme in September! For those of us living with the autoimmune disease, Celiac, It is greatly appreciated to find new and delicious recipes. xoxo

9 years ago

I tried these, and they are very good! Next time, I will put in less vinegar. It was a little overwhelming to me.