Eggplant With Basil

Recipe by Leslie in Texas

Another great recipe from Mary Nell Reck's weekly "Cooking Lesson" in the Houston Post from the late 1980's. This is best with vine-ripened home-grown tomatoes and is an appealing side dish for any meat dish. We enjoy it in the summer with anything from the grill!

Top Review by KLHquilts

Wonderful! Even after I tweaked it too far, and clearly didn't make it as delicious as it could be ... next time I'll follow the recipe exactly and get it all right. I ran out of time and so didn't skin the tomatoes (but it didn't seem to matter). I didn't have a mortar/pestle for the thyme/oregano, so I ran them through my mini-chop with the basil and garlic. And I didn't have gruyere cheese -- and I was trying to lighten the recipe -- so I just topped it with feta and herbs. Finally, I didn't saute the eggplant slices in oil -- I just spritzed the pan with olive oil spray and browned 'em that way. Still, it was delicious -- great recipe!


  1. Select firm, unblemished eggplants which are rather long and thin, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
  2. Wash eggplants, trim the ends, and slice into 1/2 inch rounds.
  3. Toss in salt until they are thoroughly coated and place on a baking sheet (you may stack them).
  4. With a second baking sheet on top, pile on a heavy weight and allow to stand 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a 4 inch depth of water to boil in a saucepan.
  6. Drop the tomatoes into the rapidly boiling water a few at a time for about 10 to 15 seconds, depending on ripeness.
  7. Plunge immediately into ice water to stop the cooking and prevent the tomatoes from getting mushy.
  8. Slip off the skins, cut out the stem, and gently squeeze out the seeds and juice.
  9. Peel, crush, and very finely chop the garlic.
  10. Very finely chop the parsley and basil.
  11. Crush the thyme and oregano in a mortar and pestle to release the flavors.
  12. Combine garlic and the herbs in a small bowl.
  13. Thoroughly rinse eggplant to remove the salt and pat dry.
  14. Preheat a large frying pan over high heat until very hot; add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.
  15. Immediately begin cooking a few eggplant slices at a time until brown on both sides; replenish the oil a little at a time as needed without letting eggplant slices absorb too much of the oil.
  16. Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet.
  17. Cut the tomatoes into 3/8 inch slices, cutting from top to bottom.
  18. Place a tomato slice on the eggplant; sprinkle with a pinch of sugar to counteract any acidity.
  19. Crumble about 1 tablespoon of feta cheese on top of each tomato and top with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the herb mixture on the feta cheese.
  20. Top the herb mixture with about 1 tablespoon of the gruyere cheese; grind fresh black pepper on each slice.
  21. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
  22. Serve immediately.

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