Autumn Ratatouille + Taleggio Polenta

in the kitchen with karen small

Autumn Ratatouille + Taleggio Polenta

Karen Small, founder and chef at The Flying Fig, welcomed the fall season by sharing with us one of her go-to dishes—ratatouille. Sautéed autumn veggies and cheesy polenta served hot for a cozy night in.

To thank Karen for her time, BurkleHagen has donated $100 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank—we’d love you to do the same.

Food Styling: Claire Vredevoogd

Autumn Ratatouille + Taleggio Polenta

1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow squash, diced
1/2 red, yellow and orange peppers, diced small
1 yellow onion, diced small
4 Cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 eggplant
1 tbsp tomato paste
4—5 large heirloom tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp oregano
honey to taste
1 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup water
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
grating of nutmeg
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
1 1/4 CUPS cornmeal
2 OZ. pecorino romano
1—2 OZ taleggio
1—2 OZ butter
3 TBSP chiffonade of fresh basil
1 TSP fresh mint, chopped
6—8 TBSP olive oil
salt + pepper



Peel, dice and salt eggplant. Let sit for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry. Peel, seed and chop tomatoes.


In skillet, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Sauté zucchini and squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes and stir frequently. Repeat this process with peppers and onion, stir in garlic near the end and set aside. Sauté eggplant until tender and golden brown. Set aside.


In saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Stir in tomato paste and cook until simmering. Squeeze tomatoes into saucepan. Add thyme and oregano. Cook 10—15 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Add sautéed eggplant and cook for 8—10 minutes. Add honey if desired. Toss remaining sautéed vegetables into sauce. Add marjoram and crushed red pepper. Cook another 1—2 minutes to complete ratatouille.


In saucepan, bring water, stock and cream to a boil. Add nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper. Place ½ cup cornmeal into large bowl and add 1 cup of boiling liquid. Stir bowl contents back into pan and slowly add the remaining cornmeal. Stir frequently over low heat for 30—40 minutes to thin, add stock or cream to polenta.


Stir cheeses and butter into polenta and transfer to serving dish. Top with prepared ratatouille and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with pecorino gratings, basil and mint.

Autumn Ratatouille + Taleggio Polenta