Eggplant Tian Gratin Thingy

by courtneyanddaniel

Sorry for the bad title, but it’s somewhere halfway in between a tian and a gratin.  It’s darn tasty, that’s for sure though.  And, it’s a good way to get your man to eat eggplant!

For this, you’ll need:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled, prepared (see below), and sliced about ¼” thick
  • 2 tomatoes, just larger than egg-size, also sliced to about ¼” thick
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thinner rings
  • olive oil
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella

I used a tall-sided ceramic pie baker (plus it’s orange with wavy edges to make this dish look pretty, thanks Pier 1!).  Don’t use a glass pan!  When you add the cold cream, the pan will shatter!

To prepare eggplant, slice into ¼” discs.  On a jelly roll pan, put a double layer of paper towels down, a single layer of eggplant, then sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt for the entire pan.  Top with another double layer of paper towels; you can do another layer of eggplant, if necessary.  Place something flat and heavy across the pan– it could be a sheet pan, or a large skillet– then put other heavy things in the pan– a box of Kosher salt, a jar of salsa, just heavy things!  Let the eggplant sit for about 20-30 minutes, then put them into the pan.  This pulls out all the bitterness and makes the darn things edible!

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Brush the bottom of the pan with olive oil, then spiral-stack a layer of eggplant, tomatoes, and onions.  Drizzle with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of pepper and herbs (no salt really necessary, the eggplants are salty from their preparation!)  Do a second layering of vegetables, then spices.

Roast in the oven for about an hour.

Remove the pan from the oven; crank the oven up to 375.  Pour the cream over, then sprinkle the cheese on top.  Bake until bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.