This is one I boosted off of Barefoot Contessa, too good not to share. I have one in the oven as I type this!Eggplant Gratin
Thick, olive oil fried slices of eggplant layered with marinara sauce and a parmesan/ricotta custard - baked to a golden brown.
- Good olive oil, for frying
- 3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400º
- Heat about 1/8-inch of olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil, heat, and add more eggplant until all the slices are cooked.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
- In a casserole dish place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, the ricotta mixture, and finally the remaining grated Parmesan on top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. Serve warm.