Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Leeky Baked Eggplant

Lately I have been in a cooking rut, repeatedly cycling through all my summer go-to recipes. I needed to force my creativity a little. So, when faced with the question of what to do with all these summer vegetables filling my fridge and counter I thought ... Why, just add cheese of course! This recipe is based solely on what I happened to have on hand and the measurements are approximate. (I mean I'm creating over here, who wants to carefully measure everything). In the end, I think I came up with a winner.

Leeky Baked Eggplant
Serves 2-3 as main dish or 3-4 as side dish

Ingredients
  • 1 medium to large eggplant, sliced into 1/4" slices
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" slices
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and sliced into half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded smoked Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 4 x 4 baking dish layer, in rows, the eggplant and tomato slices, alternating between them. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil.
  4. Toss in the sliced leeks and minced garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until the leeks become soft and translucent.
  5. Add the flour. Constantly stir until the flour turns a nutty brown color.
  6. Pour in the milk. Once the milk begins to lightly bubble, slowly whisk in the shredded cheese.
  7. When the cheese is fully melted and well combined. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the cheese sauce over the layered eggplant and tomato slices.
  8. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese and dried oregano.
  9. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the veggies in the baking dish.
  10. Put the baking dish into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the bread crumb topping turns golden brown.
  11. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Alternate Ideas
  • No Gruyere? Use whatever cheese you have on hand.
  • No leeks? A medium-sized onion would work just a well.
Do you have any new, creative recipes worth talking about? Please share!
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2 comments

  1. I'm with you on the need for creativity and the ease in which one can fall into ruts in any season. I can't eat dairy, or I'd happily try your recipe. But the idea of adding leeks to eggplant is one I *will* try, especially baked. I think I've done the combo before, but only on the stove-top.

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  2. Definitely the combo of leeks and eggplant is really nice... Let me know how it goes if you create a vegan gluten-free version.

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