Aubergine and chard gratin

Serves 4

11/2kg/3lb aubergines, sliced into half-inch rounds

Sea salt and black pepper

Enough olive oil to shallow-fry

40g/11/2oz unsalted butter

1kg/2lb ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

400ml/14fl oz crème fraîche

1 tbsp chopped tarragon, leaves only

1 bunch basil, leaves only, torn

60g/21/2oz grated Parmesan cheese

1 bunch of chard, prepared as far left

Lay the aubergine slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave to degorge the bitter juices for 30 minutes then pat dry with kitchen paper. Now heat a 1cm depth of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Fry the aubergine a few slices at a time, until golden-brown on both sides. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

In a separate pan, heat the butter gently. Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic and season with a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Meanwhile, place the crème fraîche into a small pan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Allow to bubble and reduce by a third. Take off the heat and add the tarragon and basil. Add half the Parmesan and taste for seasoning.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Line the bottom of a large, oven-proof baking dish with aubergine, follow with a layer of chard and then a thin layer of the tomato sauce and a little crème fraîche. Continue to layer, finishing with the aubergine, pour over whatever crème fraîche is left and sprinkle over the Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden-brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving

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