Eggplant GratinVeggies: Eggplant
Recipe borrowed from Mariquita Farm
(Adapted from Joyce Goldstein’s Sephardic Flavors)
4 pounds largish eggplants
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices country bread, soaked in water, and squeezed dry
6 ounces fresh white cheese, crumbled (such as ricotta or feta)
1/2 pound gruyere or kashkaval cheese
grated 1/3 cup sunflower or olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Bake the whole eggplants on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. You can also broil them for 20 minutes, turning often. Transfer to a colander.
When cool enough to handle, strip away the skin and remove the large seed pockets. Place the pulp on a cutting board and chop coarsely. Return it to the colander and let drain for 10 to 20 minutes to release the bitter juices. You should have 2 to 2 ½ cups pulp.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 7 x 11 baking dish. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the bread, eggs, crumbled cheese, and all but 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese, and all but 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the remaining oil over the top. Bake until golden and set, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot directly from the dish.
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