Eggplant provençale

This is a time-consuming recipe but well worth its colorful result.

2 lb of eggplants
2 cups of onions, sliced
2 Tbsps of olive oil
2 cans of peeled italian tomatoes (1lb each)
Thyme, orange peel, saffron, garlic
Salt and pepper
8 oz of sliced swiss cheese 

  • Cook onions in olive oil, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain the tomatoes, reserve the juice.
  • Rub the pulp trough a sieve to eliminate the seeds.
  • Stir the pulp into the onions and add herbs, orange peel, saffron, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • The sauce should be thick enough to hold its shape in a spoon.
  • In a big pan boiled some salted water.
  • Cut eggplants in halves then in slices.
  • Blanch the slices in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain on paper towels.
  • Saute the slices in olive oil until slightly browned and put them on a tray.
  • In a gratin dish arrange in layers – slices of eggplants, tomato sauce, and swiss cheese.
  • Repeat until all slices are used.
  • Reheat oven 375°F and bake 35 minutes covered, then 10 more uncovered.
  • Use the reserved juice of the tomatoes if the dish looks too dry while cooking.

See also Tian d’aubergines.