Wednesday, September 6

Eggplant Gratin with Saffron Custard

But let's be serious and call it what it really is: fancy Eggplant Parmesan. I made this last night and it was a HUGE hit with Bryan. Not surprisingly it's out of the Greens cookbook. Normally I shy away from anything with saffron, not because the spice itself is so expensive, but because the flavor can be a bit much for me. But this time it blended really nicely with everything else. I made a simple cucumber-tomato salad to go with it that was also a hit. Here's the eggplant recipe.

Eggplant Gratin with Saffron Custard


2 lbs eggplant
light olive oil for frying
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
2 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped OR 1 large can diced tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
Sugar, if necessary
2 eggs
1 cup ricotta
3/4 cup milk or cream
1/8 tsp saffron threads soaked in 3 Tbsp hot water
1/2 cup Parmesan
10 basil leaves, torn
3 oz Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

Slice the eggplant in 1/2 and then slice into 1/2 inch thick semi-circles. Fry until both sides are colored and remove to a paper towel to drain.

To make the sauce slowly cook the onion, garlic and herbs in the oil for 10 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook until thickened. Taste for S & P and add sugar if needed.

To make the custard, beat the eggs, stir in ricotta, milk/cream, saffron and Parmesan. Season with S & P.

Preheat oven to 350F. Assemble gratin in an attractive baking disk with 2 inch sides. Spread a little tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish; then lay down a layer of overlapping eggplant. Salt and Pepper the eggplant, and scatter 1/2 the basil and cheese on top. Make another layer of eggplant followed with the remaining basil and cheese and cover with remaining tomato sauce. Pour the custard over the top and bake until the custard has gently swelled and browned, about 40 minutes. Let sit before serving.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My mother in law makes this dish and I LOVE it! I am going to make it for Christmas for a bunch of vegetarians and I passed on the recipe to my sister, her sister in law and my best friend in Alaska. Thank you!