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Aubergine and Zucchini Gratin RECIPE

This recipe was contributed by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risotto over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

Ingredients

12 medium eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Olive oil, for frying
4 large zucchinis, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 cups traditional tomato sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
3 cups grated Gruyere

Method
  • Sprinkle eggplant with salt, and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Pat dry.
  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
  • Place flour in a shallow dish. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 inches of oil in a medium stockpot until very hot but not smoking.
  • Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, dredge eggplant slices in flour, and tap off excess.
  • Place immediately in oil, and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  • Repeat with zucchini slices.
  • Cover bottom of baking dish with about 1 cup sauce.
  • Arrange eggplant in overlapping rows over sauce.
  • Spread zucchini in an even layer over eggplant. 
  • Drizzle with 1/4 cup cream.
  • Sprinkle with pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, and 1 1/2 cups cheese.
  • Top with 1 cup sauce.
  • Create a second layer of eggplant and zucchini.
  • Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup cream, sprinkle with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, and top
    with remaining cup of tomato sauce.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese.
  • Bake until bubbling and golden, about 30 minutes.
  • The gratin can be made up to 1 day ahead and reheated in a 325°F oven before serving. 

Note:

When deep frying, always bring the ingredients to room temperature first. Cold ingredients will lower the oil temperature, creating soggy results.

Serves 6 - 8

Shirley Cline

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