Garlicky Polenta, Tender Eggplant & Marinated Tofu Tower with Mushroom & Wine Red Sauce

I made this yummy Italian dish for my family last night. It was full of flavor, not too heavy, and went great with some steamed kale and quiona. The presentation really makes the dish stand out, so use it the next time you need to impress someone!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 4):

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 package of plain firm tofu
  • 1 package of Italian herb polenta
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs wine vinegar
  • 6 med/small crimini mushrooms
  • 1 can tomato sauce


*tofu marinade: Combine the basil, oregano, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper and 2Tbs olive oil, the vinegar, and 1/4 cup tomato sauce in a deep plate and set aside.

  1. 1. Cut the tofu into four, 1-inch thick pieces, and place them in the marinade, coating evenly on each side. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. 2. Place the tofu along with the remaining marinade and all the garlic (crushed, peeled, and diced) into a large oiled saucepan on medium heat.
  3. 3. Slice the eggplant into four, 2-inch thick medallions, and add to the pan.
  4. 4. Every time the pan starts to brown or get dry, add a little white wine and tomato sauce, which will tenderize and keep the eggplant and tofu from sticking and add flavor. Saute for about 10-15 minutes or until the eggplant is brown on each side and practically falling apart with tenderness.
  5. 5. Cut the polenta into four, 1-inch thick medallions, and in a separate pan, saute on medium heat with the diced mushrooms in 1Tbs olive oil and 2 Tbs white wine until golden on each side.
  6. 6. Slice the raw zucchini longways using a peeler into very thin, long pieces, then lay about 3 or 4 slices on each plate.
  7. 7. Stack the eggplant, tofu, and polenta on top of the zucchini, then fold the zucchini over and flip it so the crease is on the bottom.
  8. 8. Top it with some extra wine-infused tomato sauce from the pan and the sauteed mushrooms, and serve!

Written by joshuakatcher

Joshua Katcher is an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School. His research focuses on sustainability and ethics in fashion production. He started The Discerning Brute in 2008 as a resource for men who want to make intelligent decisions concerning their lifestyles. With a focus on “fashion, food & etiquette for the ethically handsome man”, The Discerning Brute produces expert, essential content and boldly takes a stand. Brave GentleMan, the integrated, eCommerce brother-site of The Discerning Brute was launched in 2011 and features “principled attire” and “smart supplies” handpicked for informed indulgence.
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  • norma

    This is so beautifully executed and so many flavors

  • Ru Gibbs

    This looks fabulous and it totally nasty free… I’m a seriously fussy eater, no wheat, no dairy etc and this ticks all the boxes. Gonna give it go tonight. Thanks DB.

  • Mathyld / encore petite

    That looks aceness-ly yummy !
    Right up my alley !

    x x x