This receipe is rather loosely based on one from Skye Gyngell’s A Year in My Kitchen, which I’ve been using recently. This is a rift on aubergine parmigiana with creme fraiche and tarragon instead of basil and mozzarella. .
This serves at least two, with a little crusty bread.
Bakes Aubergines with Tarragon and creme fraiche
2 aubergines, trimmed
olive oil to fry
6 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
200ml (or nearest carton size) of creme fraiche
1 tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tbps thyme leaves
50g mature cheddar cheese
Slice the aubergines into 1cm rounds. Heat a 1cm depth of olive oil in a large, fairly deep frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the aubergine slices, a few at a time, until golden brown on one side, then turn and brown on the other side. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
Melt the butter in another saucepan. Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic slices and season with a good pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, put the crème fraîche into a small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Allow to bubble until reduced by a third, then take off the heat and add the tarragon, parsley, thyme and chives. Add half of the cheese and taste for seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the bottom of a large, shallow ovenproof baking dish with a layer of aubergine slices. Follow with a thin coating of the tomato sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. Continue layering in this way, finishing with tomato sauce. Pour over the crème fraîche and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for about 20–25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or so. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter over some finely chopped parsley and thyme sprigs to garnish and serve.