Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Garden's Bounty

Perhaps our favorite lunch in the summer is Ina Garten's Eggplant Gratin. It's easy to do and makes a great lunch with a salad of baby greens.
I like the fact that it is baked in individual gratin dishes -- and I like the fact that the recipe serves only two.
We have the eggplant gratin at least once a week during summer. From small skinny lavender eggplants to the bigger purple ones, any variety goes well in this dish.
It's even good enough to serve to company although usually I make it just for the two of us. We like it better than eggplant Parmesan and feel that since it isn't breading that it is a bit healthier.

Eggplant Gratin
(from Barefoot in Paris)

Good olive oil, for frying
3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 extra large egg
1/4 c. half and half
1/2 cup plus 2 T. freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400

Heat about 1/8 inch olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant, and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil, heat and add more eggplant
until all the slices are cooked.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half and half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper.

In each of 2 individual gratin dishes, place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon 1/2 of the marinar sauce. Next add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture and finally 1 T. of grated Parmesan on top.

Place the gratins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. Serve warm.


Mary Bergfeld said...

I never made this recipe, but you've convinced me it time to try.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

(haha... you should have titled this post "Garten's Bounty")

I LOVE eggplant and I LOVE Ina... thanks for reviewing this recipe. PS - I always peel my eggplant. I'm not a fan of the leathery skin, especially after the eggplant has been baked or fried.

Cathy said...

I've looked at this recipe so many times but have never tried it. I like that fact that it makes only two. Your presentation is so pretty with a lovely salad on the side.

We never go wrong with Ina.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

This dish sounds wonderful! If I could only convince DH to like eggplant!

Pondside said...

Two things I love - eggplant and cheese...yummy. This sounds like a dish for the day after the Danes leave, when it's just The Great Dane and I and a glass of something robust and red.

for the love of a house said...

Martha, I love eggplant, but have never made this Ina recipe... will definitely have to try it as your photos look delish!

Signing Out said...

Wow, this looks delicious! We opted for a patio garden this year, as my husband will be having surgery, so no eggplant. I'll definitely be growing some next year and will have to try this.


Deanna said...

I always enjoy popping in on your blog to see the delicious foods you have prepared.
Summer Blessings to you,

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a beautiful gratin. I always trust Ina's recipes.

Kathleen said...

Yum. On the menu for next week!

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Looks so gooood!. I love eggplant and so I will have to try this recipe sometime.
Your cookies look delicious too!. You always make me so hungry after I read your food posts. LOL
Take care and enjoy your day,

Judy said...

I love Ina's recipes. This looks fabulous with such a beautiful presentation.