A match made in heaven

I’ve always been a big fan of eggplant parmesan, but I know my waistline could do without the added calories that come with anything dredged in egg, breadcrumbs, and fried. When I spotted this recipe for Eggplant Gratin with Herbs and Crème Fraiche on this awesome blog “farm+house+table,” I knew my prayers had been answered.

This recipe takes eggplant to an entirely different level than eggs, bread crumbs and oil ever could. The way the crème fraiche, parmesan cheese and tomato sauce bake together creates a creamy rosé sauce that will delight every taste bud in your mouth. I served this dish over homemade spinach pasta from the market.

You will need:

  • 2 medium to large eggplant, sliced ½-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 quart of tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of minced chives
  • 3 tablespoons of minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves
  • 12 ounces of crème fraiche or heavy cream
  • 4 ounces of parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Slice and season eggplant with salt and pepper. Brush or spray lightly with olive oil. In a large skillet, fry the eggplant slices over medium-high heat in batches until golden on both sides.

To prepare the crème fraiche, place the cream or crème fraiche in a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, reducing it to about 1 cup. Stir in half of the grated parmesan and the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Grease a casserole or glass cake pan and arrange one layer of eggplant in it. Cover the eggplant with a thin layer of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Continue until you have three layers. Top with tomato sauce. Pour the crème fraiche over the eggplant layers and add one final layer of cheese.

Bake the dish uncovered for about 25 to 30 minutes until browned or bubbling. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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