Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

We recommend pairing Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG wine with this Eggplant and Tomato Gratin recipe.

Ingredients:
2 small - medium eggplants, preferably long and equal in thickness, rather than wide at bottom and thin at top
2 medium red tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 cup emmental and/or parmesan cheese, shredded

Peel skin off of eggplant and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds. Use paper towels or a clean dishtowel to firmly press each slice to remove of excess water in eggplant. Put aside. Slice tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices and put aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9x9 square gratin dish that is at least 4 inches deep.

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Briefly saute half of the eggplant slices, in batches so that there is only one layer in the pan - about 30 seconds each side. Place sauteed eggplant slices in the bottom of the gratin dish.

Cover with about 1/3 cup of cheese. Then lightly saute the garlic and tomatoes, in batches so that there is only one layer in pan. Give about 30 seconds to each side, then layer on top of the cheese. Add about another 1/4 cup of cheese. Saute remaining eggplant in same manner and then place as final layer of gratin. Cover with remaining cheese, making sure there is still room between cheese and top of gratin dish. Cover gratin dish with foil, being careful not to allow foil to touch cheese. Bake in oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. After about 40 minutes, check on gratin and remove foil. Bake remainder of time or until cheese is brown on top. Serve as side dish or with crusty bread as an appetizer.

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