Tomato Eggplant Gratin
This was the one that got away. I made this recipe years ago, just around the time I launched this blog. I loved it, and always meant to share it: but could never find it again. Until last week.
And since last week, I have made it 3 times. No joke.
And despite having it up on a pedestal as one of the best recipes I ever had---and promptly misplaced---it was just as good as I remembered it.
And in the midst of finding it [in a tattered 2006 Fine Cooking Magazine], I also remembered how much I love Fine Cooking. What a great trove of recipes and information! If you haven't already, you should check them out and/or subscribe to their magazine (I just did: last week). And NO they aren't paying me; this is on my own volition---worth re-adding to my culinary must-read list. I am a very big fan of finding sources whose recipes I trust; the goal of this blog has always been to give you fantastic recipes---ones that are worth your time and wow you right out of the box.
Eggplant & Tomato Gratin with Mint, Feta & Kalamata Olivesserves 6-8.
2 LB eggplant 3 T olive oil 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 medium onions, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 T olive oil
1 1/4 LB Roma tomatoes 1/4 cup plus 1 T chopped fresh mint 1 cup crumbled feta 1/3 cup pitted, quartered kalamata olives KS & CP TT (Kosher Salt and Coarse Pepper, To Taste) olive oil 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Cut and cook eggplant (peel off skins or part of skins, if desired): cut into 1/3 inch slices. Heat oven to 450. Place eggplant slices on large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Cook onions: Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat; caramelize onions for 20 min (reduce heat if browning too quickly). Add garlic the last 4-5 minutes. Slice up tomatoes and let rest on paper towels for a few minutes, to soak up extra moisture.
Assemble gratin: lay onions/garlic mix in bottom of baking pan (I used something a wee smaller than a 9x13). Sprinkle on some mint; next lay a row of tomatoes the width of the dish---toss on some feta and mint. Overlap a row of eggplant the width of the dish---toss on some feta and mint. Continue to lay rows overlapping until you have filled gratin, using all of the feta and mint. Tuck in the olives. Sprinkle with salt, season with pepper and drizzle 1 T of olive oil. Then combine the bread crumbs and pine nuts with a T of olive oil and 'top' the gratin. Cook an hour, let cool slightly before serving.