Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Eggplant, Tomato, and 'Smoked Mozzarella' Tart

I had never used a removable-bottom tart pan before tonight, and found it really fun! Since it was my first try, I didn't roll out my dough into quite a large enough circle, and thus my dough didn't quite fit up the sides high enough, but heck; I'll do better next time.

First, make the dough: spoon 1 cup all-purpose flour into a measuring cup, leveling with a knife. Combine the flour in a bowl with 1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir in 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a surface and knead about 4 times. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a 4-inch circle, then cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Lay two, slightly overlapping sheets of plastic wrap on a flat surface, and place the dough atop them. Cover with two additional sheets of slightly overlapping plastic wrap. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, and fit the dough into a 10-inch removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray, plastic wrap-side up. Remove the final sheets of plastic wrap. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan as well as you can - again, I hadn't quite rolled my dough into a large enough circle. I also forgot the cooking spray - doh!

Pierce the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

While the crust is in the oven, cut a 1-pound eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on several layers of paper towels, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt; let stand 15 minutes. The salt drains some of the moisture and bitterness inherent to eggplant, and is the key to this dish!

Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (this time I remembered!) and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a plate; cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 7 minutes.

While the eggplant steams, coat a medium skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon chopped basil, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chopped oregano, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chopped mint, and 2 thinly sliced plum tomatoes.

The original recipe used a mixture of smoked mozzarella and parmesan; I used the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods for both. So sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated 'cheese' on the bottom of your tart crust. Arrange the eggplant slices over the 'cheese'; arrange the tomato mixture over the eggplant. Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup of 'cheese'.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Slice the tart into 8 wedges, 2 of which make a serving of 260 calories. This makes a great light dinner alongside a salad.

Note: I know this recipe called for a lot of disposable goods - paper towels and plastic wrap. Cut down on green guilt for the environment by buying from recycled companies, such as Whole Foods' brand of Seventh Generation.

You can see from this side-view how my tart walls were just quite not high enough.

eggplant $1.75
basil $2.99
fresh oregano $2.49
fresh mint $2.49
plum tomato $0.76
vegan mozzarella $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance