Nevertheless, there are a few rare shows that I watched then and continue to watch now. The Barefoot Contessa is one of them. I just really like her cooking. It's simple when it needs to be, and elegant when it should.
It is unfortunately that there hasn't been new episodes in a while. What' s going on? We want Ina back!!!!!!
So this is a recipe from an old episode. I made it several times. It is simply delicious. Let me warn you that although it is an eggplant dish, this is not a light dish. It is really rich and creamy, as many of Ina's recipes are.
To me, this recipe reminds me of a lasagna. In a way it is a similar concept. One layer of tomato sauce and one layer of creamy cheese sauce, with layers of eggplant in between. Simple and delicious. I like to bake them in individual soup bowls. It can also be assembled in advance and baked when needed.
Eggplant Gratin Recipe: adapted from Ina Garten (aka: The Barefoot Contessa)
3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Shallow fry eggplants slices in hot oil until browned and cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain in paper towels.
In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In each of 2 individual gratin dishes, place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon 1/2 of the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top.
Place the gratins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. It will be very hot, wait a few minutes before serving.