Eggplant with Tomato and Cream Sauce

1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 small eggplants
flour for dredging eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated gruyére cheese
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper

Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and reduce it slowly by half over a low flame; keep warm on reserve.

Peel, seed, and coarsely chop the tomatoes. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter, add the onion, and sauté until translucent. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, and cook until the tomato liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper and keep ready. Mix half the reduced cream into the tomatoes; reserve the remaining cream.

Peel the eggplant; cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters, and cut each quarter into thirds. Dredge in flour; season with salt and set on a cake rack.

In a skillet, sauté the eggplant slices in the remaining butter mixed with the olive oil on medium heat until they are browned; lower the heat and continue to cook until tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add the grated cheese to the hot reserved cream and mix until it melts. If it is too thick, thin with a bit more cream. Pour a layer of the tomato/cream mixture into a baking dish. Arrange the cooked eggplant slices neatly in a line. Cover half the surface of the eggplant with the tomato mixture and then cover half of that surface with the cream/cheese sauce. Brown the dish under the broiler 2 to 3 minutes; sprinkle with parsley and serve piping hot.



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