Grandma sure knew a lot of things, but the thing she knew best was tasty, yet rustic home-cooked food. She could waltz into the kitchen and whip up something amazing for dinner without ever cracking open a cookbook. She used what she had on hand in combinations that seemed to always work and after dinner, there were only crumbs left to show for it. Every time she cooked, it was with a ton of knowledge and a whole lot of love.
In the height of summer, when garden produce was bountiful, she’d often fold it into casseroles and bakes like this one. She loved versatile recipes that could be used time and time again with different ingredients, and we do too. This bake is one of those, but the combination of eggplant, savory thyme, and cheese topped with sweet baked tomato slices is so good we doubt you’ll want to try another.
Cooking the cubed eggplant briefly keeps it from making the whole dish too watery, and sauteing the onions along with it gives them a chance to caramelize a bit and bring some nice savory-sweet flavor to the whole thing. We love a bit of fresh thyme mixed in, but any of your favorite herbs would do just fine.
In so many ways, Grandma is our inspiration in the kitchen. Simple, wholesome meals that don’t take a lot of fuss but bring a whole lot of happiness (and a whole lot of taste). This Eggplant Tomato Bake exemplifies everything about her cooking that we love so much!
Eggplant Tomato Bake
Serves 6-8; 1 hour 15 minutes
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 2-3 large tomatoes, sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onion and eggplant. Sprinkle with salt and sauté until onions have softened and eggplant is tender, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well combined. Add cheese, thyme, salt and pepper and stir until incorporated. Add eggplant and onion and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with sliced tomatoes. Bake until mixture has set and top is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
- Let cool at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Kitchn.