Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eggplant Gratin


When I first started this blog over 3 years ago, I wanted a place to document my favorite recipes from cookbooks and magazines. I also wanted a place to connect with others that felt the same way. The problem was I really didn't reach out. I am quite an introvert at heart. I was brought up in a family that talked but never shared their feelings. So even though I wanted to connect with others I was always holding back. At the beginning of this last year I decided this would be the time to start stepping out if you will. To climb out of my comfort zone. So this is what your seeing here. Baby steps they say.

Now for today's post. I had a hard time deciding what kind of dish this really was. What exactly do I call this? Is it a gratin, a casserole or even a lasagna. After googling each one I believe this falls under the category of a gratin. It is fairly healthy if you don't count the cheese. All in all, this is a great way to pay homage to this gentle giant.

*2 hours before* Slice the eggplant into rounds (see below), poke each slice with a fork several times, salt and then place on cookie sheet cooling racks with a baking pan under them. This will release some of the water. After 2 hours pat each one dry pushing down between 2 pieces of paper or kitchen towels.


Ingredients:

Olive oil
2 medium size eggplants (skins on, sliced about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick)
1 cup mozzarella (grated)
1 cup cottage cheese (small curd 4%)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 3/4 of a 26 ounce jar good marinara sauce
Fresh basil to garnish

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 450F.

In a baking sheet drizzle olive oil and then place eggplant slices directly on top. Bake in oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven and let cool.


Lower heat to 350F.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the mozzarella, cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg.

In 9" x 12" baking dish, spread a thin layer of your prepared or homemade sauce across the bottom. Place a layer of the eggplant slices overlapping a little on each one. Spoon and spread another layer of sauce. Then add 1/2 of the cheese. Add the second and last layer of eggplant, then the sauce and finish off the rest of cheese. (I added about 3/4 to 1 cup sauce each layer.)

In a small saucepan, melt butter, add in panko and stir until just moistened. Spread crumbs on top of gratin. Sprinkle with fresh basil, place in oven and bake 20-25 minutes. To brown the breadcrumbs up just a bit more. Turn on broiler and give it a few more minutes, watching carefully. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with a nice green salad. Enjoy!





Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

35 comments:

  1. The relationships I've developed while blogging are very special to me. I know you will agree - so let's be friends! Great recipe and it looks amazing. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement Tricia!

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  2. Love this Cheri and I even have an eggplant in the fridge! It takes a lot to comment but when you start, there is no going back. It brings the love, so to speak! Tricia knows. She and I became friends this way!

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    1. Hi Abbe, II'm starting to get the picture. Thanks for the "love" and encouragement. Much needed.

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  3. Cheri, I think you're right on the spot - reaching out to other bloggers and having them reach right back is one of the most beautiful things about blogging. I'm so glad to have made many good friends (virtually) that I wouldn't have had to chance to if not for the internet! Don't be shy! keep reaching out!

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  4. I didn't know that about you! I hope you find some bloggers you can have an ongoing relationship with (like me)! It is very rewarding - I have friends that I made 5 years ago and we still read and comment on each other's blogs. It might take me some time to comment back but I will always get here eventually.

    Your eggplant gratin looks very delicious and comforting. I love casseroles like this.

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    1. Thanks Reeni, appreciate your comforting words.

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  5. it is amazing how we can connect with people all around the world through blogging! Thanks for a great recipe today :)

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  6. I was the same when I started blogging but now I talk to amazing people from all over the world - it has been an enriching experience!

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  7. I love eggplant...this gratin version is definitely my thing! :) ela

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    1. Hi Elzbieta, eggplant is one of my favorite. I need to figure out more ways to prepare it though.

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  8. I love eggplant and this looks totally delicious. Yum!

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  9. I can 100% relate to your feelings on blogging initially and now. It was totally for me/just me for a year or two but after reading something, I decided to step out and say 'hi' and it has been so nice to share/talk to like-minded people and encourage each other. : )
    This eggplant gratin looks great! For some reason, I think about eggplant but never pick one up to take home and cook with. I have to do that because every time I eat it, I'm a little surprised by how much I like it. : )

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  10. I love eggplant, Cheri, and of course they are very popular here in Greece! I would love to make a dish like this soon - I do like to have a vegetarian meal every now and again and haven't been doing that much recently! As for blogging, it's great that you're increasing in confidence and reaching out more. It is a little hard to push yourself forward, isn't it, but I bet most bloggers feel like that at first! At least we have our computers to hide behind ... lol!

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    1. Hi Helen, Oh someday Greece, it's on my list. yes even though I hide behind the "screen" I still feel a little exposed. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I just bought some eggplant and have been DYING to use it! This looks SO good!

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  12. Yum! My husband loves eggplant and would be very happy to tuck into this delicious dish.

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  13. Your egg plant gratin looks delicious, full of yummy flavours.

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  14. Whatever you call it, I want a big cheesy slice!

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  15. This dish sounds delicious! Creamy eggplant topped with crispy coating? Yum! I bet this would be delicious with zucchini too!

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  16. This sounds delicious Cheri! Creamy eggplant topped with a crispy coating? Yum! I bet this would be great with zucchini too : )

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  17. Thanks Natalie! Zucchini would be lovely.

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  18. The only way I'd eat eggplant if it was baked with lovely cheese! And topping it with crispy panko is such a good idea! Thanks for this recipe! (:

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  19. I'm totally making this! I make eggplant parmegiana and love it, so I know I'd love this. Perfect meal during the kitchen remodel since I'll have my portable convection/microwave I can use. Pinning!!

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    1. Good luck with the remodel, I know when ours was happening they said you might need to stay somewhere else as we were having the walls completely redone. After the 2nd day I was pretty sick because they use lye. Be prepared my friend. All will be good.

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