Who you callin’ a tart?

Hey. It’s that wonderful time of year when locally grown produce is available nearly EVERYWHERE, particularly tomatoes and eggplant. We routinely turn our homegrown tomatoes into red sauce, caprese salad, and salsa and grill up eggplant for sandwiches and salads but sometimes we long for something different. Behold the something different; A Fresh Tomato and Eggplant Tart.

When this recipe arrived in my inbox I thought; “Yeah why not?” I already had all the ingredients and it seemed pretty straight forward, although I was a little skeptical about what seemed like an overly complicated step involving cooking the eggplant. My skepticism was unfounded, in fact the step makes the cooking of the eggplant so stupid easy and delicious that my eggplant averse husband tried a few extra slices and thought they’d make awesome little hors d’oeuvres. So take that for what its worth.

Anyway, whatever you’re doing right now, stop. And go make this tart. You won’t be disappointed. Go buy a few farmstand tomatoes and eggplant (or better yet harvest your own), defrost the red sauce in your freezer, mince a little fresh basil and get ready to be blown away.

 

EGGPLANT AND TOMATO TART

1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)

1 ½ pounds eggplant (2 medium)

Salt 

3 eggs

 cup milk

1 ½ cups marinara sauce

2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, julienned

16 oz fresh mozzarella, grated

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 large fresh tomatoes, sliced

olive oil

  1. Line a lightly oiled 9- or 10-inch tart pan with the dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes then prebake (with pie weights or beans) at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove weights, pierce bottom of crust with a fork and bake for another 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Increase the oven temp to 450 degrees . Slice the eggplant about 1/3 inch thick and toss with salt to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Line 1 to 2 baking sheets (as needed) with foil and brush the foil with olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices on the foil in 1 layer. Roast in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the slices are soft when pierced with a knife and browned in spots. Remove from the oven and carefully fold the foil up over the eggplant slices. Crimp the edges of the foil and allow the eggplant to steam for another 15 to 20 minutes. It should now be completely cooked. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
  3. Beat together the eggs in a medium bowl. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet to allow for easy handling. Whisk the milk into the eggs.  Spread tomato sauce over the bottom of the crust. Top with a layer of eggplant slices. Spoon one third of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with basil, Parmesan, and mozzarella. Repeat the layers one or two more times, depending on the size of your eggplant slices. Pour on the egg and milk mixture. It should seep down into the layers; if it looks like it’s not moving and going to overflow the crust, use a fork to create some holes so it does seep down. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with mozzarella and the remaining basil over the tomatoes. Drizzle on 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until set and bubbling and browned on the top and edges. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. 

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