Due to all the rain earlier in the season, almost all my tomatoes ripened at the same time so I am wonderfully up to my ears in tomatoes…..how I wish the summer could go on forever! So much to do with these little beauties. I was in the mood for eggplant last evening and not wanting the heaviness of frying the eggplant, I opted for a roasted version of this gratin. Once the veggies are roasted, it comes together in a flash. I roasted both the eggplant and the tomatoes (along with some garlic) and then assembled – easy, easy, easy. I also had some salsa verde (parsley, basil, garlic sauce; recipe link below) remaining from earlier in the week so drizzled the top just before serving….added wonderful flavor against the creaminess of the eggplant and the sweetness of the garden-fresh tomato. You could also use tomato sauce in place of the fresh tomatoes and make a light version of eggplant parmesan. Now I am just waiting for a reasonable hour this morning so that I can tuck into the leftovers…..enjoy!
Gratin di Melanzane e Pomodoro: Gratin of Eggplant and Tomato
2 large eggplants
12-15 Roma or Plum tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for roasting
2/3 cup grated parmigiano or romano
1/4 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, slivered
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Roast eggplant and tomatoes:
-Cut off both ends of the eggplants. Slice lengthwise and score down center of eggplant flesh being careful not to pierce skin. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil. Place eggplants cut side down.
-Slice roma or plum tomatoes lengthwise. Core tomatoes. Slice in 1/2 inch slices. Place slices on baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped garlic over the top. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
-Place eggplants and tomatoes in the preheated oven. Roast for about 30 minutes. The tomatoes may take a bit longer than the eggplant. Remove eggplant from oven when skins are wrinkled and edges are brown. Remove tomatoes when wrinkled and soft and garlic is browned.
-Place eggplants on wire rack over sink and allow to cool. Allow tomatoes to cool in pan.
2. Assemble gratin:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, if not already preheated. Coat bottom of ovenproof casserole dish with olive oil.
-Mix 1/4 cup parmigiano with the bread crumbs in a small bowl. Reserve for top of gratin.
-Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Place layer of eggplant slices in bottom, top with layer of roasted tomatoes, sprinkle with remaining parmigiano and slivered basil. Repeat with second layer.
-Top final layer with cheese/bread crumb mixture. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
-Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and crispy.
-Let rest for 10 minutes prior to serving. Drizzle with salsa verde, if using. Enjoy….