Eggplant Casserole Eggplant Gratin with Herbs and Creme Fraiche2 medium to large eggplant, sliced 1/2″ thicksalt & pepperolive oil1 quart simple tomato sauce3 Tbs. minced chives3 Tbs. minced parsley1 Tbs. thyme leaves12 oz. creme fraiche or heavy cream4 oz parmesan cheese, gratedPreheat 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.