Eggplant Gratin

Eggplant Gratin

The other night we had this delicious eggplant gratin. It was lovely when placed on a blue plate with a side of sauteed shrimp and some mixed greens. Here, it’s less pretty. But whatchagonnado.

The recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. Bittman is a food writer for the New York Times; he has a hilarious show on PBS called The Best Recipes in the World. We watch it most Saturdays. I got this puppy from Amazon a couple of weeks ago. It’s a tome–a solid 10″ square with about 4″ of pages. Indeed, it seems everything is in there.

You start the gratin by making a Greek-style fast tomato sauce. You chop an onion, toss it in some olive oil over medium-high heat, and add one smashed garlic clove. When they’ve softened a few minutes later, you add a drained can of whole tomatoes (28 oz), chopped, 1/2 c of red wine, a tsp of fresh oregano and a tsp of fresh parsley (neither of which I had), a cinnamon stick and a pinch of allspice. Let simmer 15 or so minutes, and voila. The spices add a nice subtle flavor to the sauce.

Then you slice an eggplant into 1/2″ rounds. Layer in a casserole of some kind, with a sprinkle of s&p on each layer. Sprinkle 1/3 c of feta over it, shaking a bit to distribute, and pour sauce over. Top with bread crumbs (1/4 c, maybe?) and pop into a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Yum. Bittman says you get two servings, but he must be insane. With five or six shrimp sauteed in a little olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and a heaping pile o’ salad greens, we easily got four out of this. Or would have, if there were leftover shrimp for the next day’s lunches. By virtue of having to leave the house first, all that eggplant was mine before Mr. Pea even woke up. (Insert sinister cackle here). He was stuck with still more of the Shepherd’s Pie, which we have finally run out of.

Anyway, the whole thing, including shrimp and salad, came in at about 400 calories. Healthy and tasty. Who knew?

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