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Recipes

Filtering by Tag: eggplant

Summer's End Gratin

Sarah West

While you could make this recipe at any point during tomato-eggplant season, something about it calls out to the end of summer, when the chill that lingers in the shadows (or jumps right out and owns a whole day) makes you hungry for something comforting and warm. Any kind of eggplant works; to add a little more complexity to the preparation and the resulting flavor, grill the eggplant slices instead of sautéing.

I once cooked 1/2 pound ground lamb with the chard portion of this dish and found it highly satisfying. I've also used queso fresco or feta in place of mozzarella, and mustard greens instead of chard. Keeping the basic architecture the same, the fun part is tailoring the dish to the ingredients you have on hand and the flavors you like best. I imagine, once summer draws to a permanent close, that sliced delicata squash would make a nice substitute for the eggplant and canned whole tomatoes for the fresh ones.


Serves 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds eggplant
Sea salt
Neutral vegetable oil (such as canola or grapeseed)
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 small finely diced onion
10-12 cups coarsely chopped chard leaves (about 1 pound)
Freshly ground pepper
Several large basil leaves, torn
1 or 2 large tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes 
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1. Slice the eggplants into rounds a scant 1/2-inch thick (you should have about 8-10 slices if using globe eggplant). Heat a ridged cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, brush both sides of each eggplant slice with neutral vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add the slices and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, rotating them 45 degrees and cooking for another 5-7 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook on the second side the same way, though they may take less time. Alternately, brush the rounds with oil and bake in a 375-degree oven until soft and nicely colored, about 25 minutes.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for three minutes. Add the chard and a few pinches of salt, cover, and cook until the chard is wilted and tender, 5 minutes or so. Turn the cooked chard into a colander set over a bowl and press with the back of a spoon to remove some of the liquid.

3. Heat the oven to 350-degrees. Lightly oil a round or oval gratin dish large enough to told 6-8 cups.

4. Cover the gratin dish with half the eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the basil, then layer half of the tomato slices on top, followed by half of the mozzarella. Season again with salt and pepper. Strew the chard over the cheese layer and season lightly with salt and pepper. Layer the remaining eggplant, followed by the remaining tomato, and cheese. Tuck any small whole tomatoes here and there among the vegetables.

5. Toss the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil and strew them over the surface. Bake until bubbly and the bread crumbs are browned, about 35 minutes. Let settle 10 minutes or so before serving.

Based on a recipe from Deborah Madison's, Vegetable Literacy.

Eggplant Rollatini with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Sarah West

“Rollatini” are little filled roll-ups made with eggplant. These eggplant roll-ups, stuffed with ricotta cheese and fresh basil, are fun to dip into the tomato sauce. Children will enjoy helping with this dish. Once the eggplant has been grilled, kids can fill and roll the eggplant slices themselves. Make this basic recipe, or experiment with other filling ingredients – try adding chopped cooked spinach, pine nuts, or dried currants, other herbs or cheeses. Eat them for lunch, or as a supper vegetable dish.

makes about 6-8 rollatini

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 small eggplant, about 8 ounces, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1⁄4 inch slices
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, separated, plus more for brushing eggplants
~ salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano, or Asiago, or ricotta salata)
1 cup cored, peeled, and seeded ripe heirloom tomatoes

Steps

  1. Spoon the ricotta into a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Set the sieve over a bowl and wrap the ricotta with plastic wrap. Set the bowl and sieve in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 24 hours. Discard the liquid that accumulates in the bowl.
  2. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season them with salt. Grill them over a bed of hot coals until they are tender and lightly browned. They should not be mushy. Line up the grilled eggplant slices on a baking sheet.
  3. Make the filling. Combine the drained ricotta, chopped basil leaves, and grated cheese. Stir in 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Make the tomato sauce. Place the prepared tomatoes in a blender or food processor and blend or process until pureed. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Place a dollop of filling at the widest end of the eggplant slice. Beginning at the end with the filling, roll up the filling into the eggplant slice. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

from Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans, The Farmers' Feast

Eggplant Salad with Basil

Sarah West

Ingredients
2 lb. egglant cut into 1½ inch cubes
½ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup basil, coarsely chopped
~ juice from 2 lemons
~ pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Toss eggplant, ¼ cup olive oil, salt and garlic in a large bowl. Put mix on a roasting pan. Bake until eggplant is soft but not mushy, 25-35 minutes. Cool slightly then place in a large salad bowl.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, lower heat and cook until onions are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add onions to the eggplant.
  4. Season to taste with black pepper. Add basil and lemon juice and toss. Adjust seasonings to taste.