Last night, Judi and I presented 5 New Tricks for Social Media to the Lady Rogue Business Network. Much thanks to Lady Rogue for organizing and Judi and Duane for hosting the event. And thanks to the audience for behaving themselves during the presentation – we were grateful to have no rude hecklers or interrupters in the crowd. Judi and I will be publishing the slides but first things first.
The event was potluck. Several LRBN members used the eggplant (aka aubergine for you Brits) from this week’s Vegetable Husband basket in their dish. Amy made a great baba ganoush and I made an eggplant gratin.
The Vegetable Husband is LRBN’s very own Margie Thorpe. Margie and her team deliver fresh-picked, local, organic produce delivered to your door every week.
I promised several people I’d publish the eggplant gratin recipe so here goes. The recipe makes two servings so I tripled it but then the pan was too small so all of the ingredients didn’t fit - I have no idea what the actual portions were in the end.
I do believe the fresh ingredients made the dish.
Adapted from Ina Garten, The Food Network
- Good olive oil, for frying
- 3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick – I 4 or 5 med to small eggplants
- 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
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce
- Basil – also from my basket
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
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 (or, a brown paper bag if you were raised in the South). 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 each of 2 individual gratin dishes, place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon 1/2 of the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top.
Place the gratins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned.