David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesSide DishTaste

Recipe for Eggplant Gratin with Parmesan and Tomatoes

Let me start by saying this is not eggplant parmesan. Yes, it has eggplant and includes Parmigiano-Reggiano, but it is not the dish you might expect. This side dish is delicious in every season. Serve hot in the fall and winter and at room temperature in other months.

The eggplant is not floured, egged, dredged in breadcrumbs and fried. (In that preparation, how does one even taste the eggplant?) In this preparation, there is Parmigiano-Reggiano but no mozzarella. This dish has no “gooey” factor. Please look at the preparation photos for this unexpected Eggplant Tomato Gratin recipe.

Both tomatoes and eggplant (aubergine) are readily available in Provence through the end of the summer months and into the fall. For the lavender buds, make sure that you use culinary-grade lavender.

Recipe for Eggplant Gratin

Eggplant Tomato Gratin

David Scott Allen | Cocoa & Lavender
A new way to enjoy eggplant cooked with fresh local tomatoes! Use a heavy baking dish like a lasagna pan or pyrex.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Resting Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people



  • 2 large Eggplants cut into 1/2-inch rounds (peeled or not, your preference)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus extra as needed
  • Salt
  • 2-3 shallots peeled and diced
  • 5 Plum Tomatoes quartered, seeds removed, and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Tomato Passata purée
  • 3 tbsp Mixed Fresh Herbs chopped, see note**
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Lavender Buds
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes or to taste
  • splash White Wine
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup and 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano grated
  • 2 tbsp Bread Crumbs or panko


  • Spread eggplant slices in one layer, sprinkle with salt (on both sides) and set aside for 45 minutes to allow the eggplants to sweat and lose their bitterness.
  • Preheat the broiler with the rack 4 inches from the element. Pat eggplant slices dry and arrange as many slices as possible in one single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush slices generously with olive oil on both sides. Broil until the eggplant is golden on top, turn and broil until the second side is golden. Set the eggplant slices aside and repeat the process until all the eggplant is done. This will take a total of 8-10 minutes per batch.
  • Turn off the broiler, and pre-heat your oven to 400°F (200°C) moving the rack to the middle/upper third.
  • In a 4-quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onion until golden. Add chopped tomatoes, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add herbs, lavender buds, red pepper flakes, a splash of wine, salt, and black pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the passata and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until thick.
  • Lightly coat a gratin dish with olive oil. Arrange a third of the eggplant In the bottom of the dish. The slices should overlap slightly. Spoon a third of the tomato sauce over the eggplant followed by a third of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat twice, ending with the tomato sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Top with breadcrumbs, a drizzle of oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.


* Tomato Passata is used in many Italian recipes. It is not the same as tomato sauce. Passata is made with ripe tomatoes strained of their seeds and skins. 
** Combine your herbs; we used rosemary, marjoram, thyme, basil, and mint.
Keyword Eggplant, Tomatoes, Vegetarian Dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Additional Recipes with Eggplant:

Eggplant Cakes with a Pesto Sauce
Think of this as a savoury cake. Once the eggplant is cooked, simply combine it with the rest of the ingredients and bake. The dish can be served with the pesto sauce (below), a tomato sauce or combine the two sauces for a rich flavour experience.
Eggplant Cakes Tomato Pesto Sauce
Eggplant Poupetton with Tomato Vinaigrette
Although terrine is traditionally a meat-based pâté, you can create a plant-based meal that is just as delicious and packed full of nutrients! This dish could fool even the strictest of carnivores and is sure to impress your friends that follow a vegetarian or vegan diet (you can substitute the cream for a dairy-free alternative to make a stunning vegan dish).
Check out this recipe
Eggplant Poupetton with Tomato Vinagrette
Eggplant Lasagna
A vegetarian lasagna made with eggplant.
Check out this recipe
Eggplant lasagna recipe
Baked Eggplant and Lamb with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts a Perfect Casserole
This casserole is delicious comforting blend of ground lamb, rich eggplant and melted mozzarella.
Check out this recipe
Baked Eggplant Lamb Tomatoes Casserole

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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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