Gratin of eggplant with an orange tomato sauce (vegetarian)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
⅓ cup Olive oil; *see note
2 mediums Chopped onions; or less to taste
½ \N Garlic clove; minced
1 small Carrot; chopped
1 \N Celery rib; chopped
1½ pounds Tomatoes; seeded and chopped OR 28-oz canned tomatoes, drained
\N \N The zest of one medium orange; julienned
\N \N Salt and pepper
¼ cup Chopped or slivered fresh basil
1½ pounds Eggplant
2 tablespoons Grated Parmigiano cheese; or more to taste

Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saute over medium heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but no browned, about 20 mins. Add the tomatoes and orange zest, turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until the tomato juice has nearly evaporated and the sauce is thick and jammy, about 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, adding a little salt and a lot of freshly ground pepper.

Off the heat, stir in the basil and set the sauce aside. The sauce can be prepared well ahead of time and refrigerated until you're ready to continue cooking. Add about ¼ cup water to the sauce to keep it from scorching and reheat before continuing with the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplant no more than ½ inch thick. Use some of the remaining oil to oil a baking sheet lightly. Lay the eggplant slices on the sheet and, using a paintbrush or pastry brush, paint each slice with a thin coating of oil. Roast the eggplant slices for about 20 minutes or until they are brown on top and creamy inside. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Preheat the broiler.

*Top each eggplant slice with a heaped tablespoon of the orange tomato sauce, then sprinkle with a little grated cheese. Return to the oven and broil for 5 to 7 minutes or just long enough to melt the cheese bubble the sauce.

*For a more handsome presentation, lightly oil an oval gratin dish and spread a very thin layer of orange tomato sauce over the bottom. Set the eggplant slices on the sauce, top with more sauce and cheese, and broil.

Serve directly from the gratin dish. Makes 6 servings.

PER PORTION: 219 cals, 16 g fat (66% of the cals); 18g carb.

>Recipe from A MEDITERRANEAN DIET COOKBOOK, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins (Bantam Books, 1994) >Edited by Pat Hanneman 98-Mar VARIATION: dice 1 ounce of slab bacon, about ⅓ cup. Start by gently cooking the bacon in the sauce pan with only 1 tbs of the oil until the bacon fat starts to run and the edges of the bacon begin to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the onions and complete the above recipe.

Recipe by: MEDITERRANEAN DIET, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by KitPATh <phannema@...> on Mar 23, 1998

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