Crispy Eggplant, Polenta and Caprese Stacks with Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese

Crispy Eggplant, Polenta and Caprese Stacks with Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese

Today is round two of the Italian Garden series recipes inspired by my Mom’s home cooking. If you didn’t read last week’s recipe post for Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese, head there first: (You’ll need this recipe to complete this meal!)  Crispy Eggplant, Polenta and Caprese Stacks will get topped off with the hearty summer sauce to complete the meal. 

As a disclaimer this recipe is a non-recipe, recipe. My parents used what they had in the house and garden to produce a light and fresh comfort meal. The crispy panko crusted eggplant slices and polenta along with the topping of Bolognese give the dish a stick to your ribs sensation. However; the cool tomato and mozzarella slices and fresh basil make the dish a little more vibrant. I’m not usually one to mix hot and cold components together. But, in this dish it really works.

I had three unsuspecting dinner guests at my house when I tried this rendition of my Mom’s recipe out and it received a standing ovation.

It’s the perfect end of summer Sunday meal!

…all for the love of the dish


Crispy Eggplant, Polenta and Caprese Stacks with Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 medium eggplant, skinned and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 roll of pre-cooked polenta, sliced
  • 2 cups of Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese (reference BTP recipe Box -Italian-for recipe)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (use more if needed)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  1. Skin and slice the eggplant. Also, put a small amount of salt on each piece and lay out on paper towels for 10 minutes before cooking. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, whisk the 3 eggs and start to dip each slice of eggplant in the mixture then move to panko crumbs (season these with salt and pepper to taste) to coat.
  2. Working in batches start to fry the panko coated eggplant in the hot oil. About 2-3 minutes each side. Use another ¼ cup oil as needed until all eggplant is cooked.
  3. Once eggplant is done add a little more oil and start to fry up the polenta slices. Turn the heat down to medium and allow each side to get crispy (about 5-8 minutes each side).
  4. Heat up your Bolognese sauce.
  5. Slice the tomato and mozzarella.
  6. Layer slices of eggplant, polenta, tomato and mozzarella. Pour about ½ cup sauce over the stack and top with fresh basil.
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