Aubergine Gratin (Tian A La Provencale) Recipe

Aubergine Gratin (Tian A La Provencale) Recipes

Ingredients :

450g (1 lb) aubergines

salt and freshly milled black pepper

25g (1 oz) butter

25g (1 oz) plain flour

300ml (1/2 pint) milk

60ml (4 tbsp) freshly grated parmesan cheese

1.25ml (1/4 tsp) grated nutmeg

about 150ml (1/4 pint) olive or vegetable oil

350g (12 oz) tomatoes, skinned and sliced

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Method :

Slice the aubergines thinly, then place in a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt. Cover with a plate, place heavy weights on top and leave to degorge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook gently, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually blend in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 3 minutes until thick and smooth. Add half of the cheese, the nutmeg and seasoning to taste, stir well to mix, then remove from the heat.

Rinse the aurbergine slices under cold running water, then pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Pour enough oil into a heavy-based frying pan to cover the base. Heat until very hot, then add a layer of aubergine slices. Fry over moderate heat until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Repeat with more oil and aubergines. Arrange alternate layers of aubergines and tomatoes in a oiled large gratin dish.

Sprinkle each layer with gratin, a little salt and aplenty of pepper. Beat the eggs into the sauce, then pour slowly into the dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top. Bake at 200C (400F) mark 6 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve hot.

Serves 4

Salting, or degorging, aubergines draws out excess moisture and removes any bitter-tasting juices.

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