Eggplant, Tomato, Mozzarella Tart

This tart would make my ten-year-old self run away in horror. Or more likely, my ten-year-old self would pout and passive aggressively complain about having to eat this for dinner.

Two vegetable I never liked were eggplant and tomato. Eggplant is pretty easy to avoid, but tomatoes are on everything. For years, I always requested they be left off my sandwiches, nachos, and salads. And for years, they were usually left on anyway. Even when I took them off myself, I swear they left an inedible tomato residue. I have never understood the love of tomatoes many people have.

Recently, I have tried tomatoes again to see if I had changed my mind, and the result was so-so. I like tomatoes now if they are cooked and mixed in with other items. I don’t like raw tomatoes in dishes (so no BLTs for me), and I won’t be eating a tomato as a snack any time soon.

This tart was a delicious way to showcase these two vegetables. It had a crunchy, savory crust with a nice cheesy herb mix. I loved both the eggplant and the tomato in this tart. I had some problems with the tart dough staying together, but really if you just push it in the pan and bake it as directed, the taste is unaffected.

EGGPLANT, TOMATO, AND MOZZARELLA TART
Adapted from Cooking Light
INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup water.
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray

For the Filling:
1 eggplant
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
Olive oil spray
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 large plum tomato
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 ounce Asiago cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS

For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Make well in the center. Add 1/4 cup water and oil. Form a soft dough by hand. Add more water if needed to keep dough together. Be careful not to add too much water.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough lightly four times. From dough into a 4-inch disk. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Spray 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray. On a damp surface, place two sheets of plastic wrap that overlap. Place chilled dough on top. Cover with additional plastic wrap. Carefully roll dough into an 11-inch circle. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap and fit dough to the tart pan, plastic wrap side up. Remove plastic wrap. Press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Pierce with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut eggplant into 1/4-inch slices. Place eggplant slices on top of paper towels. Sprinkle slices with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand at least 15 minute to draw out bitterness. Pat dry. Spray with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

Stack roasted eggplant slices on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 7 minutes to steam.

Slice tomato. Place slices on paper towels and let stand for about 5 minutes. Pat dry.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried parsley. Add tomatoes and mix.

Layer eggplant and tomato mixture in tart shell. Top with mozzarella slices and grated Asiago. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Serves 4.
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