Eggplant Gratin

19 01 2012

This casual eggplant dinner is easy and loaded with sophisticated flavor. Better yet, it’s good for you too!  Eggplant is low in calories and has a good amount of fiber and antioxidants in the skin, which is good for the brain.

Eggplant Gratin

The following serves 2 (compliments of Cuisine for Two):

  • 3/4 lb eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup shallots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 3 Tbsp parmesan, grated for the sauce plus another 1/4 cup for the topping
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup roma tomato, chopped (I used cherry tomatoes instead)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or about 1 tsp dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler to high, coat a 1-qt casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Coat eggplant and shallots with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant on a baking sheet and broil until lightly browned, 5-6 minutes. Turn slices over, add shallots, and broil another 4 minutes. Remove from oven, turn broiler off and preheat oven to 400.

Puree ricotta, milk, parmesan and tomato paste in a food processor. Add tomato and thyme, pulse to combine. I used an emulsion blender…if you don’t have either, crush the tomatoes with the back of a spoon and mix everything together well. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect!

To assemble, layer 1/2 the eggplant slices and shallots in the prepared dish; spread with 1/2 ricotta mixture. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, shallots and ricotta, then top with parmesan (I used a little more cheese than what the recipe called for to make sure I got a nice golden crust on top). Bake gratin until cheese is browned, about 25 minutes.

I served this dinner with a romaine salad dressed in lemon and olive oil topped with the homemade croutons I posted about last night.

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