14 hours ago
Thursday, September 22, 2011
We're back from our wonderful trip.
I loved the food in sunny Provence. Everything was in season and local.
Provence is filled with tomatoes, good olives, tons of fragrant herbs, garlic and fresh fish. Very Mediterranean.
Eggplant is very popular here, and I loved all the beautiful dishes and stews that used aubergine. I loved it.
To keep summer going, I am using the last of the season's eggplants in my Tuesday tart and to keep me in the Provencal mood.
This is a simple tart using the last of my NJ produce and my basil plant.
*some notes: if you can, find eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes that are all equal in size so they are uniform and look nice together. (The original recipe does not use zucchini, but since I had some, why not throw it in too?).
**You could also prepare this like a tian, and skip the step of roasting the vegetables at a high temperature, but the garlic and the roasting gives the eggplant a fantastic taste, so if you have the time, I suggest roasting the vegetables first.
Provencal Tart w/ Roasted Eggplant & Tomato: (adapted from Once Upon a Tart)
1 recipe for 9" pie crust
2 Japanese or Italian eggplants, sliced into 1/4" slices
8 plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" slices
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4" slices
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt & black pepper
1/4 cup light cream
In a food processor, pulse the cheese and the basil together to form a light green color paste. Lay the cheese mixture on the bottom of the prepared pie shell and keep in the fridge until ready to fill.
Place the eggplant slices in a colander in the sink and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Let rest for 20 minutes so the moisture and bitterness gets out. Press down with a plate on top of the slices to drain out the liquid.
Place the drained eggplant along with the zucchini slices in a bowl and drizzle with some olive oil. Add the garlic to the bowl and season with pepper. Toss the vegetables so they are all coated with the garlic and oil.
On a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet (you will probably need 2 pans), lay out the eggplant and zucchini slices and roast in a 450F oven for 10-12 minutes. Be careful that they don't burn, you want them just to be cooked. Set aside to cool.
While the vegetables are roasting, slice the tomatoes and drain them on paper towels for 15 minutes.
Make the custard by whisking together the eggs and cream with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Ok, now you are ready to assemble the tart! (That seemed like a lot of work, didn't it?).
In an overlapping pattern, lay a slice of eggplant, zucchini and tomato around the basil cheese mixture until the entire pie shell is covered.
Carefully pour the custard over the tart and lower the oven to 350F. Bake 35-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.
The perfect end to summer. I hate to see it go.