JULY 28, 2020
Welcome to week 8!
Life in this steambath we call New York City is very hot. We must drag ourselves to the kitchen and prepare something seasonal and delicious, something that will make us forget, for just a moment, how darn hot it is.
I have just the thing: since we are getting both eggplant and tomatoes this week, a nice tomato and eggplant tart. It is even good eaten cold. this is a simplified version, so you don’t have to make a pie crust or tomato sauce.
TOMATO AND EGGPLANT PIE
- 1 premade pie shell
- 2 medium eggplants
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce (or any tomato sauce, from a jar or a can or homemade)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup. Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
- 2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, sliced
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- Line a lightly oiled 9- or 10-inch tart pan with the dough, pressing it down with your fingers. Using a fork, prick all over to allow for even baking. Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to prebake and fill it.
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the eggplant about 1/3 inch thick and toss the slices with salt to taste and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Line baking sheets with foil and brush the foil with olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices on the foil in 1 layer. Roast 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 to cover the eggplant slices. Crimp the edges of the foil and allow the eggplant to steam for another 15 to 20 minutes (alternatively, you can just put the slices in a paper bag, fold the top over and allow the eggplant to steam inside). It should now be completely cooked. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
- Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet to allow for easy handling. Using a pastry brush lightly brush the crust with the beaten egg and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Whisk the milk into the beaten eggs in the bowl. Add salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over the crust. Top with a layer of eggplant slices. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon one third of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle it with thyme, Parmesan, and half of the Gruyère cheese. Repeat the layers one or two more times, depending on the size of your eggplant slices, ending with the Gruyère. Pour on the egg and milk mixture. It should seep down into the layers. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle any remaining thyme over the tomatoes. Drizzle on 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until set and bubbling and browned on the top and edges. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.
HELPFUL HINT: The eggplant can be cooked ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to fill the tart. Just bring it up to room temperature when you’re ready to start. The crust can be baked in the morning (when the weather is cooler) and left to stand until you are ready to fill it.
I need a cold drink.
Have a delicious week!