Eggplant Recipe With Tomatoes, Cheese, And White Sauce
This dish is a fabulous way to impress your quests while having a dinner party. The eggplant is great but when you add the white cream sauce, it makes the whole meal!
Here is one recipe that takes a lot of work, but is it ever worth it.
2 pounds eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional olive oil for brushing the eggplant
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 pound mozzarella, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt, stand the slices in a colander, and let them drain for 30 minutes. In a skillet, cook the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over low heat, stirring, until it is softend. Add the tomatoes and cook the mixture over high heat, stirring, until the liquid is evaporated. Add the basil and the oregano and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Transfer the eggplant slices to paper towels to drain and pat them dry. Arrange one third of the eggplant slices in one layer on an oiled jelly roll pan and brush the tops with oil. Broil the eggplant slices under preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat, turning them once and brushing them with oil, until they are browned lightly on both sides, and tranfer them to paper towels to drain. Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant.
In a heavy saucepan, melt 4 Tbsps of the butter over low heat, add the flour, and cook the roux, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk, heated, while whisking. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking, and simmer it for 2 minutes. Season the sauce with the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Spread about 1/2 of the cream sauce in a buttered 12 inch gratin dish, spread about 1/4 cup of the tomato mixture over it, and arrange one fourth of the eggplant slices on top. Arrange one third of the mozzarella slices over the eggplant, nap the mixture with 1/2 cup more of the cream sauce, and sprinkle 2 Tbsps of the Parmesan over the top. spread 1/4 cup more of the tomato mixture over the dish and layer the remaining ingredients the same way, ending with cream sauce and parmesan. Spread the dish with the remaining 1 Tbsp butter and bake in a preheated 375 oven for 40 minutes, or until it is bubbly. Serves 5.