- 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.
January 6, 2009
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!
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