Vegetarian food is becoming very appealing when I create dishes like this. I first enjoyed Gratin in a French restaurant in Kensington, London. The concept of cheese and vegetables. Sounded delicious.
Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Total time: 35 mins
- Good olive oil, for frying
- 3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- Sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat about 1/8-inch of 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.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon 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 marinara sauce.
- Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally 1 tablespoon 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.