Catalan Baked Eggplant with Honey, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

The first recipe I read for this dish did not use tomato, but, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it with the honey-sweetened tomato sauce that works so well in Moroccan cuisine (a relative of the Catalan). We have also tried this with mozzarella cheese, but I prefer ricotta. You might try a combination for a nice interplay of textures. Japanese eggplants, cut lengthwise into strips, may be used in place of the larger globe eggplants.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 13 tablespoons honey
  • 2 medium globe eggplants, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese (see Note)
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush 2 large baking sheets with olive oil. Stir the oil and 3 tablespoons honey together. Place the eggplant slices on the baking sheets and brush both sides with the honey mixture. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes; set aside.

Combine the remaining 10 tablespoons honey with the tomato sauce in a small saucepan. Heat to simmering over low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread about half the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 12 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant slices on top and spread half the ricotta over the eggplant. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the cheese (or save a little to drizzle over the top). Layer the remaining eggplant on top and spread with the remaining ricotta. Drizzle with a little tomato sauce if you like or sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes. Serve with grilled chicken or lamb.