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Food: Eggplant Tian and memories of Provence

By Bernadette Laganella

A few years ago I had the very good fortune to spend a week in Provence. Provence is everything everyone says it is and more. It is incredibly beautiful and filled with the smell of lavender, good bread, and delicious foods.

Our trip coincided with the summer solstice. We were delighted and surprised to see that the town celebrated the solstice with a street party. There were lights strung across the streets, music, people dancing, having a glass of wine or just out strolling arm in arm. What a way to celebrate the beginning of summer. Outside of the June 21st I delivered my son, Stephen, it was the most memorable summer solstice I have ever experienced.

One of the dishes I had that night was an eggplant tian. When I saw fairy tale eggplants at the farmer’s market on Saturday, it brought back the memory of that night. What follows is my recreation from memory of that beautiful dish.

Ingredients:

  • 5 heirloom tomatoes sliced very fat
  • 1/2 Vidallia Onion sliced very thin
  • pint basket of mini eggplant trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup of pesto
  • 1/4 cup seasoned olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of togarashi seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese shredded to cover top

Directions:

  1. spray a round cassoulette dish with olive oil
  2. layer sliced tomatoes overlapping
  3. layer onion
  4. layer eggplants
  5. pour olive oil evenly over the vegetables
  6. dot the top with pesto and seasonings
  7. Cook covered at 400 for 30 minutes
  8. Uncover and cook 10 more minutes
  9. layer the parmesan cheese over the cassoulette and cooking another 10 minutes

Special Note: This makes a delicious side dish or lunch.

Hi, I am Bernadette Laganella, author of New Classic Recipe. I have been cooking for 50 years and decided to share some of my stories about food along with their recipes.  My goal in writing my blog is to be inclusive and share as many other people’s stories and recipes as possible. I believe that if the world’s leaders sat down and ate food they had prepared and swapped stories, it would lead to world peace.  People are very rarely angry after a good meal.

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