The beloved Melissa Clark needs no introduction, but if you've been living under a rock for the last decade and have missed her tantalizing creations for The New York Times, now is the perfect time to catch up. Clark has a new cookbook out that's about to become a weeknight bible: Dinner: Changing the Game.
Look no further than the eggplant gratin for a go-to side that's as easy to whip up as it is versatile, pairing well with just about every protein. Staples like lemon, garlic, thyme and good-quality olive oil are all you need to enhance the flavors of already-delicious eggplant and tomatoes. This dish takes things one step further and adds goat cheese for a tangy hidden gem. Best of all, the whole thing is baked to golden-brown perfection in just one dish.
To learn more, read “Family Meal.”
Recipe adapted from 'Dinner: Changing the Game,' by Melissa Clark
Yield: 4 to 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus overnight steeping
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
3 small (1¼ pounds) eggplants, stems removed, flesh sliced in ¼-inch rounds
4 medium (1 pound) tomatoes, sliced in ¼-inch rounds
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
2. In a 9-inch gratin dish, arrange the vegetables while tucking small crumbles of goat cheese underneath each vegetable. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the shingled vegetables and sprinkle the panko on top. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake the gratin until it is tender and golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot and directly out of the baking dish.