Yield: 4 servings
|Whole wheat flour
|Pinch of salt
|Eggplants, finely diced
|14 oz cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with juice
|Freshly made Bechamel sauce
|Freshly grated nutmeg
|Olive oil or melted butter
|Oil for frying
|Button mushrooms, sliced
|Fresh oregano, chopped
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper
|Freshly grated parmesan cheese
|Cherry tomatoes and sprigs of oregano to garnish
Make the batter: Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Set next to the stove with a ladle.
Brush a frying pan measuring about 8 inches across th base (or slightly larger than a crepe pan) with a little olive oil and place over high heat. Once the olive oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of water is dropped onto it, take the pan off the heat and ladle in enough batter to doat the nase. Return to the burner and let the crepe cook until the top is set and lightly browned: about 1 minute.
Flip it over and cook the second side until lightly browned: just a few seconds. Lift the crepe out of the pan and onto a piece of foil.
Reheat the pan - you won't need to regrease it every time - and make five more crepes in the same way, stacking them up. Cover with foil until you need them.
THE FILLING: Warm 3 tbsps of the olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat, add the onions and garlic, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Then stir in the eggplant, cover and cook until tender: 15 - 20 minutes. Stir from time to time.
Sprinkle the flour onto the eggplant, stir over the heat for another minute or two, them pour in the tomatoes with their juice and the red wine. Continue to stir over the heat until the mixture thickens, then reduce the heat, cover and leafve for 8-10 minutes to cook the flour.
Remove from the heat.
In another pan, warm the remaining tablespoon of oil over moderate heat, add the mushrooms, and fry until tender and lightly browned: 3-5 minutes. Drain the mushrooms of any liquid and add them to the eggplant mixture. Stir in the oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper.
THE BECHAMEL SAUCE: Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat, then add the flour and stir until the flour is incorporated: 1-2 minutes.
Over the heat, pour in one third of the milk and stir well; the mixture will go lumpy, then thick and smooth. Stir in another third of the milk, and then repeat with the final third.
Simmer over gentle heat for 7-10 minutes, then test the comsistency: it should be thick enough to coat a spoon. To thin, stir in milk or cream; to thicken, simmer for a little longer.
TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place one of the crepes on a large ovenproof plate. Cover it evenly with a fifth of the eggplant mixture (it should make a thick layer). Put another crepe on top, cover with another fifth of the eggplant mixture, and so on, finishing with a crepe on top.
Gently warm the bechamel sauce, then stir in the cream. Check the seasoning, adding some nutmeg. Pour enough sauce over the crepe gateau to cover the top and run attractively down the sides. The rest can be poured into a pitcher to be served alongside the gateau.
Sprinkle the parmesan on top of the gateau and bake, uncoverd, until it is heated through and golden brown on top: about 20 minutes.
Garnish with cherry tomatoes and sprigs of oregano, and serve immediately.
From "The Classic Vegetarian," by Rose Elliot Posted by Hilde Mott 2/14/95 (I've made this omitting the mushrooms because I really hate them, and it was impressive...) Submitted By HILDE MOTT On 02-15-95