Italian Eggplant Gratin

Check out this cheesy eggplant gratin recipe made with ‘Prosperosa’ eggplant from Tuscany, Italy! It is sure to please!

Summer 2014

  • The gypsies enjoyed the local rural life of Italy and enriched it with their new vegetable, the eggplant.
    Photo by Fotolia/minadezhda

The ‘Prosperosa’ eggplant is a local heirloom from Tuscany. Italy has the largest eggplant production in Europe — still very small compared to countries like China, India, Iran, Egypt and Turkey. Try this cheesy classic eggplant gratin made with the ‘Prosperosa’ eggplant!



• 6 large ‘Prosperosa’ eggplants
• 10 anchovy fillets (optional)
• 1 cup of ‘Genovese’ basil
• 1 dozen pitted black olives
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• Mozzarella cheese
• 3 eggs
• Flour
• Salt
• First cold press olive oil
• Frying oil


1. Wash the eggplants, remove the stems and cut 1/4-inch slices without peeling. Sprinkle salt and let soak for one hour. Then wash and let drain on paper towels.

2. In a mortar, prepare a paste with the basil, the olives and the oregano, adding a trickle of olive oil and some salt. Optional: crush in the anchovy filets after soaking them in cold water for one hour to remove the salt.

3. Pass the eggplant slices in the beaten eggs and then in the four and deep fry. Let them drain on paper towels and place in the gratin dish: on top of each fried eggplant slice, place a nut of the olive paste and a thin slice of mozzarella.

4. Put in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and serve when the mozzarella has melted.

Richard Bernard grew up in France and his life with seeds has taken him to many places around the world. Richard lives with his wife Celine in Santa Fe, where he helps local seed saving initiatives and manages the farmers’ market for the Pueblo of Pojoaque. 

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