Wednesday, September 3, 2008
What's Cooking Wednesday: End-of-Summer Gratin
Please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.
"So we gotta say goodbye to the summer
baby I promise you this
I'll send you all my love
every day in a letter
Sealed with a kiss"
Okay, so my apologies to Bobby Vinton. OTOH, maybe he should apologize for writing one of the most insipid songs in pop history.
And yes, if I were really writing this to vegetables, it would be just plain creepy.
Nevertheless, the end of the summer it is. Our farm shares are winding down. End of summer treats, such as eggplant, are mixing with perfectly ripe tomatoes and the last of the basil, so I just had to do something... special.
I was also tired of posting others' recipes, even with my take on them, but this one is mine, Baby, all mine! (FWIW).
2 medium eggplants, the fresher, the better, sliced about 3/4" thick
1 large onion, sliced horizontally in 1" slices
salt and pepper to taste
1 16 oz. container of lowfat (or regular) ricotta
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan
10 fresh basil leaves, cut in ribbons (chiffonade)
1 huge heirloom tomato, or 2 medium ones (and yes, a regular tomato will do)
1. Fire up the grill to about medium heat or the equivalent. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Salt and pepper eggplant slices on each side, and brush each side with olive oil. Brush the onion slices with olive oil, as well.
3. Grill eggplant and onion until slightly charred and tender.
4. While veggies are grilling, mix ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 2 TBS of the parmesan. Set the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan aside.
5. When veggies are nice and tender, oil or spray a 9X12 dish, or the equivalent, and lay the eggplant slices on the bottom. It's fine if they overlap. On top of the eggplant, scatter the onion (breaking apart the rings). It should look like this:
6. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle the fresh basil, like this:
7. Then, layer the sliced tomato over all, like this:
8. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. Then remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan, and in about 10 more minutes of baking, you should have this: