August = eggplant in my kitchen, and when I recently clicked through a HuffPo article on eggplant recipes, I was reminded of how much I love this late-summer veggie, which also just happens to be my favorite color. I can wax poetic over the varying shades of eggplant (especially the delicately striped ones [sigh]), and I secretly love calling them “aubergines,” the British (and French) word for the nightshade, but only in my head, because saying it out loud just sounds too pretentious. That is why this post is titled Eggplant Tart and not Tarte d’Aubergines… but doesn’t Tarte d’Aubergines sound more romantic? Well, no matter, tastes the same whatever you call it. And if you, like me, would secretly like to call it Tarte d’Aubergines when you’re all alone… well you go right ahead, I won’t tell a soul.
One of the recipes I came across was this recipe for an eggplant tart, and I was psyched to try it. I promptly pinned it, and then finally got around to making it this week… only to discover that the recipe had disappeared! Pinterest had captured the ingredients for me, but the original page no longer contained any information (now it does, of course, that I’ve already made the damn thing.) So, I cobbled together what I remembered from an initial glance at the recipe and what I know generally to be true about eggplants, and came up with a pretty delicious approximation, if I do say so myself. There is one important difference, however. Can you spot it?
Yeah, in the original version, somehow the eggplants managed to stay on the bottom of the tart, forming an eggplant crust, if you will, and the egg/cream mixture stayed on top. Well, either the original chef was a wizard or I did something wrong, because as soon as I poured the eggs in, my eggplants (ha! eggs! and eggplants! just realized that) floated right to the top. Good thing I had predicted as much and sprayed the bottom of the pan liberally with cooking spray. Other than my eggplants floating when I wished they hadn’t, it turned out fabulously, and was perfect for lunches with a side salad, or even as breakfast.
inspired by this recipe
Time: 1 hour (active 30 mins) Serves 4
180 calories; 10g fat; 8g carb; 15g protein
- 1 pound eggplants, thinly sliced into rounds (like, really thinly, less than 1/4 inch)
- Cooking spray
- Salt and pepper
- 3 large eggs*
- 4 egg whites (I usually use liquid egg whites)*
- 1/3 cup whole milk or cream (I did a mixture)*
- 1 tsp dried (or 1 T fresh) herbs of your choice
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
*original recipe calls for 5 extra-large eggs and 1/3 cup cream, but my modifications lighten this recipe up considerably.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Arrange the eggplant in single layers on baking sheets lined with oiled parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray rounds with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through if you feel like it (but no biggie if you don’t).
While the eggplant is baking, mix up your eggs, egg whites if using, and milk/cream. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh/dried herbs.
After removing eggplant, reduce oven temp to 375°F.
Spray an 8-inch pie pan or 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray. (If using a tart pan with removable bottom, please line with parchment paper or aluminum foil, or you will have a helluva mess in your oven!) Arrange the eggplant in the pan to form a base… for all the good it will do, as your eggplants will float right up as soon as you pour the egg in.
Pour the egg mixture into the tart pan, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffy, golden, and set. Serve with a simple side salad or greens, cucumbers, and/or tomatoes – the perfect light summer meal!