Eggplant with Tomato Sauce and Ricotta

20130719-123025.jpg

Eggplant, tomato and cheese – three of my favorite things! I roasted the eggplant, filled with some fresh ricotta and then topped with a quick tomato sauce, fresh basil and some ricotta salata – heaven. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and your set for dinner.

Ingredients:
Tomato Sauce:
1 28 oz can tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp celery seed
Salt
Red pepper flakes

Combine all of the above in sauce pan and cook for 40 minutes over low heat. Mash up the tomatoes and keep warm.

Eggplant:
4 small eggplants, cut into 1 inch thick rounds
Olive oil spray
Salt and pepper
4 oz fresh ricotta cheese
Basil leaves
2 oz ricotta salata

Preheat oven to 450.

Spray a baking pan with olive oil. Place eggplant on baking pan, season with salt and pepper and spray with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes until they start to brown. Flip and roast 20 minutes on the other side.

Remove from oven and place a dollop of ricotta on each round. Bake for 10 more minutes.

Top with sauce, torn basil leaves and ricotta salata.

Serves 4.

Fig and Almond Gratin

20130719-112129.jpg

Patricia Wells comes up with the best recipes – seriously never had a bad one from her!! This is another winner! The thyme sugar is what really takes this over the top! I’m going to use it my ice tea too!! It’s gluten free!!!

Ingredients:
2/3 c creme fraiche
4 springs thyme
4 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c finely ground almonds
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 lbs figs, stemmed with X cut half way through the figs

Thyme Sugar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 10 1/2 inch round baking dish.

In a small pan, combine thyme sprigs and creme fraiche. Cook over moderate heat until it starts to bubble. Cover and remove from hear. Let steep for 1 hour. Remove stems.

Whisk together eggs, sugar and salt at high speed for 3 minutes until think. Stir in almonds, vanilla and creme fraiche.

Pour 1/2 the batter into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Arrange figs over the batter. Pour remaining batter over fruit and bake 30 minutes.

Prepare the thyme sugar by combining sugar and thyme in a spice grinder and grinding to a fine powder.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar and bake 10 minutes.

Serves 8.