Tomatoes play a big role in Provencal cooking, and not just because they’re available in abundance throughout the Summer and into the Fall. Whether the tomato is red, orange, or yellow, their uses are numerous, which Chef Reine Sammut proves in so many of her Provencal and Mediterranean-inspired recipes.
She uses them in everything from gazpacho to risottos, and even desserts. And when she teaches any of these recipes during her one-day cooking classes, and her passion for cooking is simply infectious. This particular recipe highlights not only tomatoes, but also aubergines (eggplants), as so much of Provencal cooking does, and it makes the perfect hearty starter to any meal.
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Eggplant Crumble With Parmesan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Cook method: Fry, Bake
- Just over 2 cups (1.5 liters) olive oil
- 2 eggplants
- Parmesan cheese
- Just over 2 cups (50 cl) tomato sauce (see ingredients for sauce below)
For the crumble:
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) flour
- 1.75 oz (50 grams) parmesan
- 1.75 oz (50 grams) butter
For the tomato sauce:
- Just over .75 cups (20 cl) of olive oil
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 2 chopped cloves of garlic
- 1 stalk of thyme
- 0.33 oz (15 grams) basil leaves
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) ripe tomatoes
1. Remove the skin and guts from the tomatoes.
2. Fry the garlic and onion in the olive oil. Add in the tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook for one hour, and at the end put in the chopped basil.
3. Put the mixture in a vegetable mill, mix, and then set aside.
4. Cut the eggplants into slices of 1/2 cm in thickness.
5. Fry the eggplants in olive oil (2-3 minutes each side) and then put them on a paper towel. Pat to remove excess oil.
6. Mix the ingredients of the crumble in a separate bowl.
7. Put 4 slices of fried eggplant in a dish and then cover them with tomato sauce and some grated parmesan cheese. This makes one of the servings. Repeat this for all four servings.
8. Top each of the servings with the crumble mixture and then put in the oven (at 375 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes until the top is nice and crisp. (If the crumble is not crisping in your oven, pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes, watching it very closely).
9. Serve warm.
Bonus! Don’t let any food go to waste. Place the tomatoes’ leftover skin and guts in a blender along with finishing olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend thoroughly and serve as a delicious gazpacho.
By Peg Kern
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