Friday, May 17, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Gratin with Herbs and Cream

Thanks to Farmhouse Table for this delightful recipe and reference to its author, Edna Lewis, the granddaughter of a former slave. According to her 2006 obituary in the New York Times, Edna's cookbooks "revived the near-forgotten genre of refined Southern cooking." harrumph These simple, flavorful, comforting dishes may have gone out of favor in New York and other far-flung places. To those of us who were born to this place and time, they are the essence of home and unforgettable.

Eggplant Gratin with Herbs and Creme Fraiche

Ingredients

2 medium to large eggplant, sliced 1/2″ thick
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 quart simple tomato sauce
3 tablespoons minced chives
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoons thyme leaves
12 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Season eggplant slices with salt and pepper.  Brush lightly with olive oil.  Roast until starting to tan lightly. Turn and roast a few minutes more until both sides are golden.

2. While eggplant is roasting, prepare the cream sauce. Pour cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Reduce volume to about 1 cup, then stir in half of the grated parmesan and all of the chopped herbs. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Oil a 9″ casserole or gratin pan and place eggplant inside in a single layer.  Cover with a thin layer of simple tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.  Make two more layers of eggplant and sauce, covering the top with tomato sauce.  Ladle over the reduced cream and sprinkle on a final layer of parmesan cheese.

4. Bake uncovered until browned and bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.  Let rest briefly before serving. Also delicious at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. After waiting three weeks for fresh eggplant at the farmer's market, we finally got around to cooking this last night. So rich. But fresh ingredients really "make it." Especially chives, thyme, parsley fresh from our kitchen garden.

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