Eggplant Gratin

Eggplant Gratin with spaghetti and chunky heirloom tomato sauce

Eggplant Gratin with spaghetti and chunky heirloom tomato sauce

This may just be the best way I have ever eaten eggplant. It is a lower fat gratin than the usual variety that uses half & half, but no one will ever know. It is still as fluffy and creamy as the original. I had buttermilk to use and necessity is the mother of invention! I served it with spaghetti noodles and some of the Chunky Heirloom Tomato Sauce from last week’s post.

Olive oil for frying

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick – about 2 Everblossom eggplants

1/3 cup low-fat sour cream

1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese

1/3 cup buttermilk

2 extra-large eggs

1/4 cup chives, chopped finely

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking add several slices of eggplant, but don’t overcrowd. Cook, turning once or twice until they are evenly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use a splatter guard if you have one and be careful. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a paper towel. Add more oil to the pan, heat it and repeat until all slices are cooked.

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, eggs and chives, half cup of the parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a square baking dish layer the eggplant slices, salt and pepper, and pour on the custard mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining half-cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes; lower heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes until the custard is browned on top and your dish is hot and bubbly.