I am a truly blessed person for I have a wonderful and special friend, who just happens to be a excellent chef. His name is Joe and his great
cuisine is experienced at the renowned Ferrari-Carrano Vineyards and Winery in Heraldsburg, California.
Joe was so sweet as to share this recipe with me a few years ago. It was for my birthday present, and I loved receiving it.
It was so much fun and I might say, "work" to prepare but it was so worth it. It was the absolute rave of the dinner.
You must make it. You must experience this Gratin of Eggplant!
1-1/2 lbs. small Eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch slices
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped fine
2 lbs. Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 clove Garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh Basil Leaves, scissored
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
4 large whole heads of Garlic
About 1-1/2 cups brown Veal Stock or other stock of your choice
4 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Flour
2-1/2 cups Milk, scalded
Flour, enough for coating the eggplant for frying
1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
Making The Gratin:
1. Place the eggplant slices in a baking dish, salt them, and let them lose their strong juices for about one hour.
2. While the eggplants disgorge, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nice heavy pot. Sauté the onion until a golden color. Add the tomatoes, 1 clove of
garlic chopped fine, the basil leaves, and the herbs. Salt and pepper to taste and let cook until the fondue looks nice and thick. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, crush each remaining garlic clove, peel it and put them all in a small pot. You should use all the cloves of the 4 heads of garlic listed
above in the ingredients. (Seems like a lot of garlic, but do it) Add the veal stock and cook over medium heat until the garlic falls apart. Reduce
them to a heavy puree. Strain this mixture through a conigal strainer and reserve for later use.
4. While the eggplants are curing and the tomatoes and garlic are cooking, prepare a cream sauce by making a white roux with the butter and flour and
binding it with the scalded milk. Let it cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Blend the cream sauce and garlic puree as soon as the latter is
ready. Beat one egg and gradually add some of the hot sauce to it. Then reverse the process and pour the egg and sauce mixture back into the bulk of
the sauce. Correct the seasoning.
5. Remove the eggplant from it's dish. Rinse it under clear water and pat it dry. Put some flour in a paper bag and add the eggplant slices. This is the
fastest way to flour them evenly.
6. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Building The Gratin:
7. Line a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with one layer of eggplant slices.
8. Top with the tomato fondue.
9. Top the fondue with whatever is left of the eggplant slices.
10. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. It should be about 1/2-inch thick.
11. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake in a 350 degree preheated over until the top is a light golden color.
For a dish so wonderfully rich tasting, the calorie-nutritional content isn't too serious.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 8 Servings
Calories: 321 Carbohydrates: 28 gm Fat: 20 gm Cholesterol: 65 gm
Protein: 110 gm Sodium: 789 mg Fiber: 4 gm Calcium: 213 mg
Iron: 1 mg Vitamin A: 1744 IU Vitamin C: 21 mg
Percentage of Calories from Fat: 54%
Percentage of Calories from Protein: 12%
Percentage of Calories from Carbohydrates: 34%