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Poached Eggs on Polenta with Ratatouille

From: Chef Eric Palacios, Whole Foods, Los Angeles.

Yield: 12 servings.

1/2 cup butter, melted
5 cups cooked polenta, warmed
2/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, freshly grated
1/3 cup parsley, minced

1 lb. zucchini
1 lb. eggplant
1 lb. bell peppers, cored and seeded
1 lb. onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. canned whole tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme to taste,
salt and pepper
12 large eggs
as needed, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
as needed, parsley, coarse chopped
to taste, salt and pepper

For Polenta: Stir butter into polenta. On a clean work surface sprinkled with a little water, spread the polenta to 1/2" thick layer. Cool to firm up. Cut polenta into 12 21/2" rounds.

Heat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment; add polenta rounds. Sprinkle with grated cheese and parsley; bake 10-15 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

Cut zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers into large dices. Sautè all vegetables except tomatoes in olive oil in large spray-coated pot for 3-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add remaining vegetables and seasonings; break up tomatoes. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 15 minutes; uncover and cook additional 15 minutes until tender. Keep warm.

Poach eggs in simmering water, adding 1/2 cup wine to each quart of water. Poached eggs should be cooked until whites are set (completely coagulated and firm) and the eggs begin to thicken (no longer runny, but not hard).

To Serve: Portion about 3/4 cup ratatouille on each plate. Top with polenta rounds, poached eggs and parsley. Season to taste. Serve immediately.

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