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Eggplant Gratin with Herbs & Creme Fraiche

September 30, 2012

I adapted this recipe from one I found at the FarmHouseTable.  I liked it because it was vegetable heavy and I have all the herbs growing in my garden!  (I feel so great when I gather fresh herbs to use right away in my garden — I feel so on top of  things like I must be doing something right!)  I tweaked the recipe by adding ground buffalo, zucchini, yellow squash and onions to flesh it out to make it a one-pot-meal.  I also substituted pureed roasted red bell peppers for tomato sauce.  And since oven roasting is so much easier than pan frying, I did that to brown the vegetable slices.

The result is unbelievably delicious!  I’m not sure what exactly makes it so, perhaps it is the heavy cream (I’m not used to cooking with heavy cream.  It’s totally worth it, especially if you can get pasture raised cow’s heavy cream, it’s much better for you than the stuff from tortured, corn fed, confined cows.)  Perhaps it is the parmesan cheese.  Or the herbs.  Or the pre-oven roasting the veggies…  Lots of veggies, a bit of meat, delicious = the perfect meal.  (I’ll not mention until the end of this posting that it’s a lot of work (an hour plus) plus cooking time (which is spent cleaning every pot, pan and utensil that you own).  😉  Still, totally worth it:

Eggplant Gratin with Herbs and Creme Fraiche

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium to large eggplant, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • Yellow Squash and/or zucchini, sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips, 1/3″
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • salt
  • olive oil/butter
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers
  • 3 Tbs. minced chives
  • 3 Tbs. minced parsley
  • 1 Tbs. thyme leaves
  • 12 oz. creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice eggplant, zucchini & yellow squash.  Coat in olive oil & salt.  Roast in oven until brown.  Turn oven down to 375.

Meanwhile, prepare creme fraiche:  heat 12 oz heavy cream in sauce pan on medium until reduced to 1 cup.  Add 2 oz parmesan cheese and herbs, & salt.

Meanwhile, brown the buffalo with a bit of (Ju’s garlic) salt.

Meanwhile, puree roast red bell peppers in the Cuisinart.

When all the layers are ready, layer in pan:

  • oil
  • sliced veggies
  • onions
  • buffalo
  • red sauce
  • repeat until ingredients gone
  • cream sauce
  • rest of parmesean cheese

Bake at 375 for 25-30 min until brown & bubbly.
Let rest briefly before serving.  Also delicious at room temperature.

Layers of the veggies

pureed roasted red bell pepper sauce

making the herb cream fraiche

poured onto the layers

added parmesean cheese

and baked until bubble and browning

This just took me an hour and a half to make, starting with a clean kitchen and all the ingredients gathered.  One hour of prep-time.  Half hour of baking/clean-up time.  It definitely tests my new tolerance for making a mess in the kitchen and using more than one pot/pan. I used:

  • one large cutting board & knife
  • one large frying pan
  • one medium sauce pan
  • three baking sheets
  • cuisinart
  • cheese grater
  • tons of utensils
One Comment leave one →
  1. Allen permalink
    September 30, 2012 2:43 am

    You’re right sweetie – fabulous meal!!!

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