2 medium to large eggplant, sliced 1/2″ thick
salt & pepper
1 quart simple tomato sauce
3 Tbs. minced chives
3 Tbs. minced parsley
1 Tbs. thyme leaves
12 oz. creme fraiche or heavy cream
4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375.
Season eggplant slices with salt and pepper.
Brush lightly with olive oil.
Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over med-high heat and fry eggplant slices in batches until golden on both sides.
Set aside while you prepare the creme fraiche.
Place creme fraiche or cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Reduce to about 1 cup, then stir in half of the grated parmesan and all of the chopped herbs.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside. Oil a 9″ casserole or gratin pan and place eggplant inside in a single layer.
Cover with a thin layer of simple tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.
Make two more layers of eggplant and sauce, covering the top with tomato sauce.
Ladle over the reduced creme fraiche or cream and sprinkle on a final layer of parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered until browned and bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.
Let rest briefly before serving. Also delicious at room temperature.