Winter brings that longing for hot, oven baked dishes that are filling and so comforting on a chilly night as the wind whistles around the house. The oven warms the kitchen and living room, and the aromas make everyone hungry (even the neighbours). How I love baked dishes in the cold cold days. I am warm and so is the kitchen, and I potter around doing this and that in my favourite room. The results are always delicious.
This is another baked eggplant dish, and it is layered with cheese and a tomato sauce. It’s great! Wintery and lovely – another quick and simple cold weather dish.
This recipe first makes a tomato sauce, and then layers golden eggplant slices with the sauce and cheese, before baking it until bubbling and browned. What more do you need in cold Winter weather? Serve with a salad for lunch, or as part of a larger meal for dinner.
Because it is Winter, tinned tomatoes might be your best option for making the sauce, but this year we’ve had really good quality tomatoes available all through Winter. Another option is to use those tomatoes that you threw into the freezer last Autumn. Also, if you made your own Tomato Pastes or Purees to keep in the freezer for Winter, now is the time to use them in place of the Tomato Puree. You can even make it with one that includes a little chilli! As little as 0.25 cup and up to 1 cup of puree is needed.
Are you looking for Eggplant recipes? Try Creamy Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce, Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes, and Cheesey Eggplant Torte.
Baked Aubergines | Baked Eggplant with Cheese and Tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
7 Tblspn olive oil
400g tomatoes, chopped, or 2 cans Roma tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 Tblspn tomato puree (home made if you have it)
1 Tblspn sugar (optional – if tomatoes are a little tart)
150 g gruyere cheese
50 g Parmesan cheese
5 Tblspn water, or as needed
1 bunch basil, leaves removed and roughly chopped or torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Saute the chopped onions and crushed garlic until soft in 2 Tblspn of the olive oil. Add the tomatoes, and salt and pepper, and simmer 15 minutes.
Add the sugar, the water and tomato puree and simmer for a further 30 mins. Add more water if it becomes dry during cooking. Remove from the heat and stir through the basil leaves.
While the sauce cooks, brown the eggplant slices in the remaining oil.
Mix the cheeses together.
In an oven-proof dish, layer the eggplant slices, tomato sauce and cheese, beginning with the eggplant and finishing with the sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 mins or until bubbling and browned. It may take longer, depending on your oven.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes, and serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add a little diced red chilli to the tomatoes as they cook.
Instead of basil, use thyme and/or sage in the sauce – just a little, and add with the tomatoes. A little Rosemary would also work. Or a bunch of parsley, stirred through the sauce in the last 5 or so mins of cooking.