It’s that time of year when home gardens start to burst with tomatoes. This recipe features juicy, delicious tomatoes and roasted eggplant. It is definitely a time consuming dish but it is so worth it. Every time I make this, I double the recipe and we eat it all week. It pairs nicely with a salad of simply greens. To simplify the recipe, feel free to use store brought crust.
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Tart
Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Yields: 1 9"-10" tart
1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoon) salted butter
2 tablespoons ice water, more as needed
1 pound eggplants, sliced into 1/4-1/2″ thick rounds
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds small, flavorful tomatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1/3 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
If salting the eggplant: Cut the eggplant into rounds, approximately 1/3-inch thick. Arrange a layer in a large colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat layering and salting until all the rounds have been salted. Let them rest for 30 minutes to an hour. Then rinse the slices and pat dry, removing as much water as possible.
Make the crust: In a large bowl, add the flour. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour, and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles sand with lots of pea-sized butter chunks. Drizzle the water over the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a rubber spatula, until the dough will hold together when you give it a squeeze, adding more ice water by the teaspoon directly to the dry bits as needed.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough out into a rough square that is about 1/4″ thick. Fold it in thirds like you’re folding a letter, then roll up from a skinny end into a loose spiral. Gently press to flatten it slightly, and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 12″ circle, dusting the dough lightly with flour as needed, rotating and flipping it to prevent it from sticking. Ease the dough into a 9 or 10″ tart pan or pie plate, fit it into the corners, and trim it to a 1″ overhang. Fold the overhang into the pan, pressing to adhere so that the sides are double-thickness. Trim away any excess dough, and prick the crust all over with a fork.
Chill the crust for 20 minutes.
While the crust chills, prepare the eggplant: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450ºF. Toss the eggplant slices with the garlic and olive oil, and spread on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake until the eggplant begins to brown, 10-15 minutes, flipping the slices if they are browning on the bottom but not the top. Remove and let cool.
Pre-bake the crust: Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF. Place the crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Line the crust with a piece of parchment paper or foil, and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or clean pennies, pressing the weights into the sides and corners of the crust.
Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until the dough will hold its shape when you lift off the parchment. Remove the weights and parchment and bake until the bottom is dry and lightly golden, about 5 minutes longer. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Assemble the tart: Cover the bottom of the par-baked crust with the parmesan, then crumble the goat cheese over, and top with an even layer of slivered basil. Layer the eggplant and tomato slices–alternating between eggplant and tomato–in concentric circles, beginning with the outside and working inward. Use small pieces to fill in any gaps, so that the crust is completely covered.
Make the custard and bake the tart: In a measuring cup, whisk the eggs to break up the yolks, then whisk in the cream, salt, and a good grinding of black pepper. Pour the custard over the vegetables.
Carefully transfer the tart to the oven and bake until the custard is set, firm to the touch, and doesn’t jiggle when you give it a shake, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to warm on a wire rack. Garnish with basil leaves.
Serve the tart warm. Leftovers will keep well for up to 3 days–re-heat before serving.