Eggplant Gratin with Tomato, Herbs and Creme Fraiche

October 31, 2014

Eggplant Gratin with Tomato, Herbs and Creme Fraiche



You guys know that on average 20 lbs (roughly 9 kg) of eggplant contain about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette?
In fact eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, and tobacco are all nightshades. They all share some similar properties to different degrees.
Still eggplant is specifically notable because it has the most concentration of nicotine of any edible plant. So, sure, tomatoes have some nicotine as well, but not to this extent.

Eggplant Gratin with Tomato, Herbs and Creme Fraiche



But can you imagine going for a 20 lbs eggplant break? “Hey guys, I’m gonna step outside for quick a eggplant-break!” Nom, Nom, Nom...
Or, you know, eating 20lbs of eggplant after sex “Whew, that was great. Care for some eggplant?
Or saying “Hon, can you run to the store and get me 20lbs of eggplant? Menthol ones pluh-eeze!
Not to mention how difficult it would be to carry that much eggplant in a shirt pocket.
Is the next big thing going to be Marlboro Parmesan? Or eggplant patches?
Who knows, only time will tell…
Eggplant



For now - and whether you’re a nicotine addict or not - all we can do is enjoy eggplant (not 20 lbs though) in this awesome eggplant gratin with herbs and creme fraiche.
I got some amazing purple striped eggplants and a lot of fresh herbs from the farmers market over the weekend. So making this dish was pretty much a no-brainer.

Eggplant Gratin with Tomato, Herbs and Creme Fraiche



This gratin is a great meal to make for impressing friends and family.
It looks like you put a lot of hard work and time into it and it tastes fabulous. So rich. The fresh ingredients really "make it." Especially chives, thyme, and parsley.
They’re the core of this recipe, they really enhance the flavor in the mouth.
As it bakes the creme fraiche and Parmesan cheese form a to-die-for crust,
This dish is filling without being a carb bomb nor with that ‘unbutton your pants’ feeling.
Just serve with a nice fresh salad and you got a hearty, healthy meal on the table.
Eggplant Gratin with Tomato, Herbs and Creme Fraiche

The nights are getting colder and longer and what better way to warm up your table than with this delicious eggplant gratin!
Eggplant Gratin with Tomato, Herbs and Creme Fraiche                             Print this recipe!
Barely adapted from FarmHouseDelivery

Ingredients
Serves 6

2 medium eggplants, sliced into ½-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups / 475 ml tomato sauce (such as marinara sauce)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
¾ pint / 12 oz /350 ml creme fraiche (or heavy cream)
1 cup / 1.8 oz / 50 gr grated Parmesan cheese
Fine grain salt
Ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Season eggplant slices with salt and pepper and lightly brush with olive oil.
Heat a large griddle pan (or skillet) over medium-high heat and fry eggplant slices in batches until golden on both sides. Set aside.
Place creme fraiche (or heavy cream) in a small saucepan over low heat, bring to a simmer and let reduce to half (keep an eye on it, it will boil over fast if you don’t watch it.)
Stir in half of the grated parmesan and all of the chopped herbs. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
Lightly grease a 9-inch casserole dish or gratin pan.
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with some tomato sauce and arrange eggplant slices on top to form a uniform layer. Cover the eggplant with some tomato sauce and some Parmesan cheese. Repeat to make 3 layers, making sure to end with a uniform layer of tomato sauce
Ladle over the reduced creme fraiche and sprinkle on a final layer of Parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered in the oven for about 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Let rest briefly before serving.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 292 calories, 21 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein.

48 comments:

  1. Wow! Thats interesting about the eggplant! Kinda crazy, but if you can eat that much of it in one go....kudos to you! This sounds great! Yum!

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  2. GAH! I died at the thought of an "eggplant break" Too good!
    You're gonna judge me, but I've only eaten eggplant ONCE in my life. So clearly I need to get my butt onto the eggplant train 'cause this looks BOMB. Pinned!

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    1. You can't be serious...just once? Why is that if I may?

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  3. Yum!! Looks delish. Love eggplant...it's totally underrated :) happy Friday! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Hmmm...I definitely didn't know that little tidbit about eggplant. I wonder if the eggplant business has soared in states that have banned smoking in public places? Because that would be pretty cool. This gratin looks so healthy and delicious that I might just need to place an order. For delivery. Tonight. But you best show up in costume or I'm not tipping you. Nice work, my friend! #WolfpackEats

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    1. I actually never thought of that David, some research on the topic is definitely needed!

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  5. I'm learning something new everyday! Gratins are the best. Just pinned this!

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  6. Creme Fraiche makes the most amazing sauces, I can't wait to make this the flavor look perfect for the chilly weather!

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    1. Creme fraiche is sort of magic IMO, it's so awesome!

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  7. Beautiful work as always Mike. Pictures are incredible and this is the perfect, healthy comfort dish. Have a great weekend! #wolfpackeats

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  8. Mike - your pictures are phenomenal - makes me wanna grab that spoon and go to town - the only thing stopping me is my new found knowledge that eggplant contains nicotine - YIKES! And Thanks! Next time I grill eggplant, I wonder if I will smell like cigs...
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. I dunno about smelling like cigarettes, more like grilled eggplant. Ha!

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  9. Woah, wild facts about eggplants. But now let's get to your pictures and the recipe - wowzas. What a beauty! Could curl up with this tonight!

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  10. ....I wonder if that mean my potato addiction can be accustomed to it being a nightshade. Thanks alot mate.

    This looks even more delicious than on instagram and I kind of want to dig into the whole batch. Come at me, carb coma (and nicotine addiction).

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    1. I think there must be something to it Arman. If you think about it, almost everybody is addicted to potatoes and tomatoes. It might as well be the nicotine content or maybe it's because they're delicious...

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  11. I never knew nighshades contained nicotine, although now it makes sense why so many diets avoid them.

    However, there's no way I'd want to avoid this dish. Looks decadent and delicious!

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  12. Made this gratin last night. Phenomenal! I'm going to make it again soon, it was such a hit with the whole family.
    Thanks for the awesome recipe!

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    1. That's fantastic Jennifer. I'm so happy you'all liked it!

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  13. I've been looking for more eggplant recipes- thanks for posting this :-) It looks delicious- pinned!

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  14. Omg this looks absolutely INCREDIBLE. Honestly gorgeous! And I love the thought of a quick eggplant break haha!

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    1. The quick eggplant break is the best thing ever, innit?

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  15. What I love about this recipe is that you substituted creme fraiche for the cheese. It looks delicious .

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    1. Creme fraiche does a fantastic job in this gratin Gerlinde, you should totally try it!

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  16. The color of the cheese looks awesome. I've been looking for a new eggplant recipe. I'm going to have to try this.

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    1. If you do try it, please report back Eric!

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  17. Hi Mike,
    I'm not the first time here, but I wanted to compliment your photography this time...
    I love eggplant, and this dish is undoubtedly very tasty and just right for these November days...

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    1. Thank you so much Jasmin, I really appreciate your comment!

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  18. I never knew that eggplant contains nicotine.. that is a crazy fact! I am a massive gratin fan and regularly make potato gratins, definitely inspired to make an eggplant version now. Great recipe Mike!

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    1. I love potato (and sweet potato) gratins as well. They're so awesome!

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  19. Wow, I never knew that about eggplant. Of course, I had to go search it for myself. Though it's true, I won't deter my love for eggplant. This casserole is right up my alley. Your photos, of course, are incredible.

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    1. The nicotine content in eggplant is totally negligible and I don't think it can have any impact on the body. Still, it's good to know, right?

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  20. Beautiful photos as usual! Love everything about this gratin, and the nicotine doesn't scare me - it's probably not too different from getting a sniff from someone smoking outside a building, with the added benefit that the eggplant doesn't stink like cigarettes do ;-)

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  21. Hi Mike, did not know eggplant contained nicotine, wow! need to think about this....anyway beautiful gratin!

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  22. Lol, I had no idea tobacco was in the same family as vegetables! Maybe that inadvertently explains my addiction to potatoes?... Anyhow, this looks scrumptious! I love light yet filling meals. :-)

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    1. I was surprised as well, but it totally makes sense. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant I'm totally addicted and now I know why! ;)

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  23. I always carry an eggplant in my shirt pocket... doesn't everyone? Hmmm, weird. Dude, have you seen the South Park episode all about Creme Fraiche? If not, you need to google it right this second and watch it. One of my friends showed me the episode and it is hysterical!

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  24. Randomly came across this on Foodgawker and thought, "What in the world? Persian-style pasta?!" So as a Persian, to me this means pasta cooked the way we cook our Persian rice, tahdig (crisped rice at the bottom of the pot--pasta in this case) and all. But essentially you're taking a beloved eggplant appetizer (typically eaten with Persian bread) and pairing it with pasta! Of course it'll be tasty! Great job and lovely photos! :)

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  25. I made this today. There is no way to make this with 2 medium eggplants. I had 3 and wished I had 5 or 6, as I barely got two layers with the 2 eggplant, much less the 3 the recipe said. I would make it again with more eggplant. The baking dish pictured looks like a 9x13 to me, and I used a smaller pyrex baking dish, not as deep as the one pictured, and would have loved to have had more than the skimpy 2 layers of eggplant that I ended up with.

    I also was not thrilled with the top. Used heavy cream instead of creme fraiche, and with the cheese it tasted like an Alfredo sauce, which is fine; however, with the marina, the inside looked pink and I'm not too fond of the way the two sauces blended in taste. I think I might like it better with a ricotta topping that has some eggs and cheese in it, like a middle layer in lasagna.

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  26. This was awesomely tasty!! Definitely recommend and will make it again. Tastes a lot more decadent than the nutritional info would have you believe - thanks a tonne for the recipe! :D

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