Friday, June 22, 2012

Eggplant, Tomato, and Smoked Mozzarella Tart

I've been trying to use up all the miscellaneous groceries that keep hanging around in the fridge/freezer/pantry, so a few days ago, I defrosted a ball of smoked mozzarella and was determined to find a new recipe to use it in. Enter Cooking Light's Eggplant, Tomato, and Smoked Mozzrella Tart. I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, but the essence of the original was still there.

First, I substituted dried herbs for the fresh, which I know is a big no-no, but since they were in small amounts and the filling was going to be cooked anyway, I don't think the dish really suffered that much. Second, have you ever tried to brush a tray full of eggplant slices with 1/2 teaspoon of oil? I don't think that's physically possible. I used olive oil spray to give an even coating and called it a day. This also helped better moisten the eggplant, so I skipped that weird "steam in plastic wrap" step -- yuck.

Oh, and I strayed from the "light" recipe directions and used at least double the amount of smoked mozzarella the recipe called for. What can I say, I'm my father's daughter. With a maiden name like Azzolino, I think a love of cheese is required :)

The only thing I think I would do differently next time would be to try it with a traditional pastry crust. The crust in the recipe is very bread-y, almost like a pizza crust. While clearly that's part of what made this a "light" recipe, it would definitely taste even better with a flaky, buttery crust (go figure!). Or, I might try this cornmeal crust from Ellie Krieger's Ratatouille Tart, another favorite recipe of mine.

Whatever crust you decide to use, the original recipe's instruction to sprinkle some cheese on top of the baked crust before you add the filling really helped keep the bottom of the tart from getting soggy. That is definitely a trick to remember for future reference.

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