Eggplant Gratin

Gratin d’Aubergines

Preparation info

  • Servings:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

Most Provençal gratins of eggplant consist simply of alternate layers of precooked eggplant slices and stewed tomato, the surface sprinkled with cheese, or, in some instances, there is only an intermediate layer of stewed tomato with béchamel poured over the surface and sprinkled with cheese. This recipe seems to me very much more interesting, both from the point of view of presentation and of flavor. Often the eggplant is parboiled rather than being precooked in olive oil, but the latter method lends a more exciting savor. In any case, the eggplant must be precooked and the usual reason for failure is insufficient precooking; the stem end is tougher than the rest of the flesh, requiring longer cooking, and the slices should not be removed from the olive oil until the stem end offers no resistance to a knife tip.

With any preparation involving eggplant precooked in olive oil, it is a mistake to add more oil, for the eggplant has, in its first cooking, absorbed a great deal of oil, which, even though the slices are drained on towels, is partly retained and exuded during the subsequent cooking process.