Friday 27 April 2012

Aubergine Tart (Pasticcio di Melanzane)

From The Vegeterranean: Italian Vegetarian Cooking, Malu Simões & Alberto Musacchio, Simon & Schuster, 2008.

I use eggplant (aubergine) often. While it is not overly flavoursome itself, it absorbs the flavours around it and seems to be a versatile vegetable, being able to be used in a great variety of ways.

This looked like a very interesting recipe. It was for a tart but a tart without a pastry base. I was intrigued to see if the tart would be capable of holding itself together for eggplant is very soft when cooked. But I have always had success with recipes from this cookbook so I would have to trust it.

The eggplant (two of them), after being peeled and cubed, was soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then drained and squeezed to remove as much moisture as possible. It was then cooked in a pot with a smidgeon of oil until it was softened and rather dry.

When the eggplant was cool a couple of eggs were beaten and added. Also going in were 200g of tasty cheddar cheese cut into cubes, some grated Parmesan, chopped garlic and oregano. It was then seasoned and placed into a greased spring-form pan to cook for about half an hour.

It was served with a sauce made from some capers and parsley, chopped, and whisked with some extra virgin olive oil. We had it with a carrot puree and some broccolini, which all went well with it.

The tart was a soft one and a little difficult to lift and place on plates as it had no tart case. However, it had a pleasing savoury taste with the occasional piece of cheese cropping up. The tangy sauce managed to bring into prominence the more subtle flavours of the tart.  Should I make it again, I think I might place it in a pastry shell.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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