First, thank you to Warren Hershberger for following my site!
If I could actually teleport from place to place...say, using Harry Potter's Floo Powder....I would have spent the last few days in Provence, then Texas, then New York City and back to Provence. My co-conspirator/foodie husband would go with me willingly...except maybe NYC. It's so busy there...so crowded. But we like to try new foods...like to see new places. We like wine too.
So...here we are in Provence again. (All through books and these posts of course....not enough frequent flyer miles to cover all that)
Another recipe from my Williams-Sonoma Essentials of French Cooking book and my second (from this book) from the Provence region.
A tien is both a Provencal cooking vessel and a finished dish. It’s like an au gratin dish…just slightly deeper. Beautiful dish.
2 globe or 4 Asian eggplants (aubergines)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 ripe, juicy tomatoes (about 3 lbs total weight)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
¼ cup coarse dry bread crumbs (we used a stale baguette and my mini food processor to make our own)
1 TB unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
What do you do now?
Heat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Trim off stems of eggplants crosswise into slices ½ inch thick. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook until undersides of eggplant are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Turn slices and cook until the insides are soft (about 10 minutes longer).
Meanwhile, coarsely chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with their juices. Add ½ teaspoon salt and a bit of pepper, garlic and thyme.
Raise oven temperature to 450 F (230 C) and coat a gratin dish with olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices in a layer, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with half of basil. Spread tomato mixture over the eggplant, slightly lifting slices to allow juices to run underneath. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs and dot with butter.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When you remove the dish from the oven sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.
If you are an eggplant lover, you will be rewarded for these meager efforts with a grand dish that could serve as the main course. We had it as a side with pasta and garlicy scallops...and a few glasses of white wine.
If you score any Floo Powder, give me a shout. Otherwise, please feel free to share this post if you liked it :-)