January 6, 2009

Eggplant Gratin

It seems like everyone is beginning their New Year's Resolutions and attempting to eat healthier, so I thought I would share this recipe for Eggplant Gratin. It's not necessarily healthy given all the cheese, but it doesn't have any meat, which is a start, right? I'm not the biggest "healthy" meat fan - chicken and pork are blah unless they are covered in some kind of yumminess like cheese or BBQ sauce. The only meats I really swoon over are beef and sausage. Not exactly the right choices to start 09 off on the right foot. So I give you a meatless entree that is satisfying enough to let you go veggie for a night without ever missing the meat. And it sure as heck tops a baked chicken breast!

This has layers of eggplant, tomato sauce and cheese, all baked in together until warm and bubbly. It's kinda like lasagna, but much cutter since it is baked in individual gratin dishes. The one aspect I wish this had was a bit of a crunch. I think next time I might add some bread crumbs to the top just to give the dish something more to bite into.

Hope everyone is off to a great 2009, and is enjoying the calm after all the holiday hoopla!

2 Servings

Olive Oil
3/4 pound Eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 extra large Egg
1/4 cup Half-and-Half
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Kosher Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup bottled Marinara Sauce
  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium and lightly coat in olive oil (about 1/8-inch).
  • When oil is on the brink of smoking, add several eggplant slices and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides (about 5 minutes).
  • Drain eggplant slices on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Repeat this process until all eggplant slices have been cooked.
  • While eggplant is cooking, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  • Place 2 individual gratin dishes on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  • To assemble each gratin: place a single layer of eggplant, sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper, and half the marinara sauce. Add another layer of eggplant, salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and top it all off with another sprinkle of Parmesan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned and filling is set.


Elra said...

Always love simple and delicious dish, your eggplant meet this criteria.

Grace said...

fantastic! i love eggplant, and this is an easy and elegant and completely delicious way to consume it. a little cheese never hurt anyone. :)
happy new year to ya!

Aimée said...

Yes please! I'll add this to our menu this week. Hopefully I can slip the eggplant by the boys. :)

Maria said...

I just bought an eggplant last night. I love the serving dish you used! I will have to try it!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Elra - Thanks! I love simple things too, especially right after the holidays when we are all drained.

Hi Grace - I certainly love my cheese and am glad you approve. :) Happy New Year to you as well!!

Hi Aimée - Ahh, the old cover the veggies in yummy goodness trick. I still use that one on myself. :)

Hi Maria - Thanks! The little dishes were on sale at Pottery Barn, which makes it even better.

maggie said...

ooh gorgeous. Love the little crock it's in!

pigpigscorner said...

Looks delicious. Love eggplants with cheese!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Maggie - Thanks! I really should find more ways to use them.

Hi Pigpigscorner - I hear ya, I love anything with cheese! :)

Raspberry Runner said...

oooh i love eggplant!! this looks yummy!

we are never full said...

only ina garten would take an eggplant parm and french it up to call it an eggplant gratin! ha...

but i do love eggplant parm so much. you've totally reminded me that i need to make this soon.

Stacey Snacks said...

Yummy eggplant gratin!!
I made roasted eggplant today and just chopped it and spread it on crackers. I love it!

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