Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

March 31, 2014

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)One of the awesome things of running a blog is receiving products to sample, books to review, invitations to events, and even offers from writers/journalists to contribute with their work to the website.
Most of the time these offers are legit; other times you get the feeling they’re computer/mass generated because they’re just way out of line.
Such as the one I got last night.

“Hi Mike,
Hope all is well! I wanted to reach out with a few unique story ideas for your blog.
Below are some women-centered, completely unique story ideas/topics – let me know thoughts:
(1) PMS, Menopause and eating for your age: Did you know that based on age, women need to start eating specific foods to stay healthy, happy and fit?
(2) PMS and relationships: Do your cramps and crankiness make your significant other avoid you at all costs once per month? Our expert can weigh in on the best ways to soothe PMS symptoms and get you back on track (your guy will appreciate it!)
(3) Cramping, Crankiness and Headaches, oh my! PMS affects 681 million females in the U.S. and all are looking for some type of relief from the various symptoms. Our expert can speak to why we get PMS and unique, out-of-the-box alternatives to help symptoms”

First off, YOU, yes you, PR woman, did you even care to notice you sent this email to a dude?
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not ditching the informational value of your message.
I mean, I do get cranky, but in the morning and before having my cup of Joe.
I also get cramps, in my legs, especially after running more than 17 miles, and if I haven’t hydrated properly.
Headaches happen too, such as when the music is too loud at the gym (yes, Equinox, let’s remind ourselves that a gym is a gym, not a club!)
But why do you think I should be interested in discussing PMS? I'm seriously not the best person to talk about it... and what I already know is kind of enough for me.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

What I know about PMS can be sum up as follows.
There are a few days, every single month, where GF becomes kind of the Hulk. In that she gets really angry and she hates all of her clothes.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s kind of badass, like she has a superpower or something.
Obviously it seems uncomfortable (and I’m sure it is), but during those days she’s able to come up with the most creatively mean things to say to me. Like she’s insanely good at hurting my feeling for a few consecutive days every month. And she never apologizes afterwards.
Not that I’m expecting her to, because, just like the Hulk, she’s not in control of her body — hence she can’t be held responsible for her actions.
It’s just part of life, I know that. End of the story.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

Over the years I’ve learned that the best way to deal with GF during those days is to be overly nice, talk little (because whatever you say may be misinterpreted, misconstrued and/or used against you) and just be around her for support.
Shower her with love, affection and delicious food.
Allow me to rephrase that...delicious, healthy and LIGHT food.
Because she already feels bloated, there’s no need to get into the “You’re trying to make me fat” conversation.
Light food such this Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin.
Think of this as a delicious, low-calorie, low-carb version of eggplant Parmesan. Instead of breaded, fried eggplant, the eggplant is roasted, sliced and layered with a rich and tasty tomato sauce and freshly grated Parmesan, and baked in a hot oven until bubbly.
No need for mozzarella this time around; since we’re in THOSE days we’re keeping the calories down or I’ll let you deal with the Hulk.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Gratin                                                                  Print this recipe!
Adapted from The New York Times 09/02/2008

Serves 6

Tomato sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ (28 oz / 800 gr) cans diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
2 sprigs fresh basil
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste


2 large eggplants (about 2 lbs / 900 gr in total)
¾ cup / 2.6 / 75 gr grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tablespoon olive oil


Roast Eggplant

Preheat the oven to 450°F (220°C).
Cut the stem and calyx off the eggplant, and cut the body lengthwise in half.
Line a baking sheet with foil, and brush the foil with olive oil.
Place the eggplant on the foil, cut side down. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven when skin starts to shrivel, the edges and cut surface are browned, and the eggplant has softened but not collapsed.
Use a spatula to detach from the foil if the eggplant is sticking.
Place the eggplant halves cut side down on a rack set over a baking sheet, or in a colander. Allow to cool and drain for at least 15 minutes.
Tomato sauce

In the meantime make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large (preferably nonstick) skillet over medium-high heat, add onion and saute’ until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minute, then add diced tomatoes, salt, black pepper and basil sprigs.
When it starts to bubble, turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring every so often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and are beginning to stick to the pan, about 25 minutes.
Remove the basil sprigs and set aside.

Assemble gratin

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a small bowl combine ¼ cup of Parmesan with the almond meal. Set aside.
Oil a 9x13-inch baking dish (about two-quart).
Spread ½ cup of tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish.
Slice the roasted eggplant about ¼-inch thick, and set an even layer of slices over the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon a layer of sauce over the eggplant, and sprinkle with basil and Parmesan.
Repeat the layers one or two more times (depending on the shape of your baking dish and the size of your eggplant), ending with a layer of tomato sauce topped with the Parmesan and almond meal mixture you set aside.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top.
Remove for the heat allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or cold (the latter being my favorite way!)

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 214 calories, 11 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein.


  1. Hahahaha Mike, this post cracked me up! I'm in tears...
    The gratin look amazing btw, great recipe.

  2. Thanks Mike for this delicious, nutritious roasted eggplant parm and the best one liner I have heard today: "just like the Hulk, she’s not in control of her body — hence she can’t be held responsible for her actions" to use it...

  3. Love this recipe and the story too! I was laughing too hard to type for a moment there. Guess all couples are alike in some ways.

  4. Hahaha...I love this post! And I totally agree with the random PR emails. Do these PR people really even think about what they're sending out!?! Oh, and this roasted eggplant gratin needs to be in my kitchen. right now.

    1. Thanks D! And yes PR people are hard to decipher...

  5. Hahahaha! I am rolling over this! First of all, I hate the 'Hi there' emails that are sent out as a mass letter. If you want to get my attention, how about using my name? Second, the PMS thing is hilarious. You wrote about so well that you couldn't possibly offend any women, but you still told it like it is. It sucks! More so for men, I'm sure. It's best just to be a good listener, not look at any other chicks, and be extremely conscious of the need for chocolate one minute and yelling the f-word the next. :-)

    1. I'm glad you reckoned I didn't offend any women, I was a tad worried about it!

  6. What can I substitute for the almond meal? This looks great, but I am allergic to nuts.

  7. Wait wait???? Men don't have a "time of the month" either?


  8. Cramping, crankiness and headaches - see, that PR woman knew you could relate way better than you'd held yourself accountable for. Even if for completely different reasons you as men can understand women's pain quite well. Now if only all guys would use this PMS knowledge to come up with recipes like this one. And then serve them to us girls because really, we need all the comfort we can get during that time of the month.

  9. Looks so good.
    L x

  10. That email is hysterical! Haha, the hulk...I love that. My husband will appreciate it. ;) I'm seriously in love with this dish. Pinned to make. :)

  11. OMG made this for dinner tonight, it's so tasty! Think it could get my husband, myself, my family, friends, work colleagues......... through my PMS!! ;-)

    1. Wow Caroline, that's so awesome. I'm super happy you liked it that much!

  12. This was awesome! The post and the recipe.

  13. Cute post Mike, love the way your gratin looks, love that combination!

  14. Hahaha, that email is hilarious! On another note, that gratin looks delicious, eggplant is my new favorite veggie again (we had a few years off due to a nasty incident in a Chinese restaurant) and Im always looking for new ways to cook it - thanks for the recipe :)

  15. Dude, this post was amazing and epic. I was laughing hysterically through it. That's the exact kind of post I expect from the Alpha from our wolfpack.

    And the recipe looks pretty freaking good as well. Nice job man.

  16. WOOW now THAt looks delicious! I will try this out next week for sure!

    Check out my new post & may leave a comment :)
    I follow you now on bloglovin, wanna do the same?

    xx Jennifer

  17. Oh dude, this post cracked me up! It's the funniest one I've read in weeks I tell you.
    And also, this gratin looks fantastic enough to deal with all of the PMS of the world. ALL OF THEM I SAY.

  18. Going to try and recreate this tonight!

    Mon Petit Billet

  19. Too funny! Question - if I wanted to add protein to this dish (though I'm sure it's perfectly delicious as is), what would you suggest? I was thinking ground turkey but I'm not sure where to add it? Just trying to add more protein to my life.

    1. Why don't you try to add some eggs to it? Do like this, after adding the Parmesan cheese, top with 2 tablespoons of beaten eggs, and repeat at every layer.
      Otherwise you can add ground turkey to the tomato sauce but I can't guarantee that tastewise it will work!

  20. I just made this and added 2 medium zucchini instead of a second eggplant. Fabulous! Thanks for a great recipe,! - Karen L

  21. ������Oh my gosh!! It's 4:07 AM in 2017 no less and I am cracking up on your blog ������. (I'm so ��late!) All I wanted to do was find an eggplant gratin recipe from my recent trip to Haiti and here you are a total stranger making me snort from laughter. I'm hooked!������ good job on showering your girlfriend with love/food/and distance 🤗