So I’m kinda obsessed with tomatoes lately… and I had an eggplant in the fridge that I bought on impulse. Thus this recipe was born (with a little help from a similar recipe at Food & Wine). I served it with my Rotini with Creamy Alfredo Sauce.
To make it (3-4 servings), you will need:
- 1/2 large eggplant (or 1 small eggplant), sliced into 1/4″ thick discs
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into 1/2″ thick discs
- 4 garlic cloves
- half of a baguette, sliced 1/2″ thick
- 6 tbs olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2c torn basil leaves
- 2 tbs bread crumbs
- 2 tbs grated Parm or Asiago cheese
Begin by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice your eggplant, if you haven’t already. I only ended up using about half of these slices – the eggplant I had was huge.
Sprinkle each eggplant slice with some salt. Set up a colander over a bowl, and place the slices in the colander to drain for 20 minutes. After 20 mins, pat the slices dry with paper towels. (It’s important to remove as much liquid as possible if you want the slices to be crispy.)
Check out that sweet oil-pouring action. I can’t believe I managed to capture that with my crappy point-and-shoot camera. (My new DSLR had not arrived at the time of making this recipe. :T)
Anyway, combine the minced garlic with the olive oil. Coat a medium-sized baking dish (casserole would be ideal) with 1 tbs of the oil.
Line the bottom of the dish with the baguette slices. If you don’t have a baguette, just tear sliced bread into 2-inch pieces.
Drizzle the bread with 2 tbs of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread with most of the basil; leave a little aside to add to the top of the gratin later.
(Camera battery dying here; sorry for the blur.)
In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with 2 tbs of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the eggplant and tomatoes over the bread. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper, as well.
Drizzle with the remaining garlic oil. Sprinkle on the chopped basil.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes (initially).
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with bread crumbs and Asiago cheese.
Bake for an additional 10 minutes to crisp the bread crumbs and melt the cheese.
Serve and enjoy!