Last week I was really strapped for time and was craving some vegetables.
Years ago I took a cooking class from Madeleine Kamman in a series of culinary classes that the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs was hosting. This recipe is a scaled down version of a vegetable gratin dish that Madeleine Kamman taught to the class one chilly afternoon.
What is a gratin? It simply is a dish that is topped with breadcrumbs and cheese! Sounds fancy but it’s simple.
Herbed Eggplant Gratin
1 large eggplant, sliced in circles 1/4 inch thick
1 large tomato, sliced in circles 1/4 inch thick
2 medium zucchini sliced in circles 1/4 inch thick
3 poached or raw garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp dried italian herbs, or fresh flat-leaf parsley, rosemary, and thyme, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup of grated parmesan (optional but delicious)
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
Wash veggies and slice. Mince poached or raw garlic. If using fresh herbs wash them, pat them dry and chop them.
Spray a round baking dish with cooking spray. Place one layer of tomatoes on bottom of dish. You can overlap them. Drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle a little of the herbs across the top along with a big pinch of mined garlic. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
Next do a layer of eggplant the same way adding the olive oil and herbs, salt and pepper. The next layer is the Zucchini. Repeat the process you did with the tomato and eggplant layers.
Continue building layers until all of the vegetables are in the dish. Sprinkle the cheese and panko across the top if you want it to be a true “gratin” dish. As you can see for my photo. I left the cheese and bread crumbs off. I am Gluten sensitive so I just left the breadcrumbs off since I was making the dish for myself.
Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 – 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. until the veggies are tender and cooked.
This version takes less time than the dish Ms. Kamman presented but is just a delicious. Remember what I said about my being a “lazy chef” in the Bacon Lardon post? I am always looking for dishes that are beautiful, taste great, and don’t take long periods of time to prepare. This is one of those dishes!
What could be easier? Wash your veggies, slice, arrange in a baking dish, sprinkle on some minced poached or raw garlic, chopped fresh or dried herbs and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on a little cheese. This is a great dish for all of us who work too many hours, don’t like to cook, or are just hungry for something satisfying and yummy to eat!