Provençal Eggplant-Tomato Gratin
Frank Stitt, owner of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, started his culinary education by working for the late great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France. This recipe, in which ripe summer tomatoes and eggplant are roasted with herbs and olives, is part of a dinner party inspired by Olney’s love of great wine and seasonal produce. Stitt suggest serving this dish with a bottle of 2000 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge – the owners were close friends of Olney’s, and their wines represent the arid, aromatic landscape of Provence. This dish is adapted from a recipe which appeared in one of Olney’s cookbooks “The Good Cook: Vegetables”. It is a rustic French side, so flavor counts more than presentation here – be sure to salt your eggplant and tomatoes 30 minutes ahead of time for optimal flavor.