Eggplant. To some, it can be an intimidating vegetable to try in a dish, but it may surprise you how worthy it is to include in your diet. Eggplants have a whole slew of health benefits. It is incredibly low in calories, roughly 132 calories in an entire eggplant. It also supports brain health, is rich in vitamins and fiber, and is heart-healthy.
One of my favorite dishes that I make at home at least once a month and for most dinner parties is Roasted Eggplant Tarte. I learned how to make this signature dish from my French host mom, Sylvie Dufour, while living in Lyon, France. It was there that I fell in love with these delicious, savory tartes. At the start of our catering business, one of the first wedding dishes we ever cooked was the eggplant tarte, and it was a tremendous hit. And now, it’s become a popular dish that our clients request at their events.
Whether you’re converting a non-eggplant lover or aiming to impress your vegetarian guests, this recipe is hearty, delicious, and sure to be a gorgeous centerpiece at any event.
ROASTED EGGPLANT TARTE
YIELD 4-6 SERVINGS
prep time: 30 minutes cook time: 30 minutes total time: 1 hour
Roasted Eggplant Tarte, a fresh take on this extraordinary vegetable, presented in a colorful dish that’s sure to please your dinner guests, vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike. Made with eggplants, dry herbs, fresh thyme, fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, mozzarella, and phyllo dough. Simple, savory, flavorful!
• 3 to 4 medium eggplants
• 12 oz mozzarella cheese
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• olive oil
• salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• 2 tbs dry or fresh thyme, rosemary, basil (use one or all 3, whatever you have!)
• ½ bunch fresh basil, julienne
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked off stems and stems discarded
• ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
• 2 tbs ancient grain, Dijon, or other fun mustard
• 1 package phyllo dough (puff pastry works too)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Slice eggplants into 1/8″ rounds. On medium-high heat, grill each slice (no oil!) on both sides until tender and brown. Make sure you do one at a time, or however many you can fit in your pan, so the eggplants are flat on the surface.
3. Using one large tarte pan, pie pan or casserole dish, cover bottom with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, dried herbs, and fresh thyme (save fresh basil for garnish) all over olive oil. Sprinkle half of the pine nuts all over. Layer eggplant slices on top of each other to cover the bottom of the pan like a fan. On top of the eggplants, sprinkle remaining pine nuts and rest of sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Slice mozzarella into thin rounds and lay those on top. On the side, spread a thin layer of mustard on the phyllo dough and lay the first phyllo dough piece on top of the cheese, pushing the dough’s edges into the sides of the pan. With a brush, coat each layer of phyllo dough with olive oil and layer it on top of the previous phyllo dough sheet. Continue for about 7-8 pieces of phyllo.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the dough looks brown and cooked well. The tarte should be bubbling, like lasagne.
6. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Right before serving, flip tarte upside-down. Put a cookie sheet or large platter on top and flip it over (with hot mitts!), pounding on the tarte pan a bit to make it all falls out. Sprinkle fresh basil and any extra pine nuts on top as garnish. Slice and serve!
TOOLS AND TIPS!
• Sharp Chef Knife or Serrated Knife
• Cutting Board
• Large Grilling or Searing Pan (or 2!)
•Large Ceramic Tarte Dish, Pie Pan or Casserole Dish
Pie Serving Tool or Spatula
The eggplant can be cut ahead of time in the morning. Place in a sealed bag or an airtight container. Store in the middle shelf or least cool section of the refrigerator. Chop all the fresh herbs and store them also in a sealed container in the fridge.
Leftovers and Storage:
Let tarte cool to room temperature and store either covered in the baking dish, or in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Or place them in to-go containers for easy lunches throughout the week!
ROASTED EGGPLANT TARTE (step-by-step)
When shopping for eggplant, look for ones with vibrant, smooth, glossy skins, no wrinkles, or soft spots, and it should feel firm and a little heavy for its size. This will ensure a flavorful, nutrient-rich dish.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice eggplants into 1/8″ rounds, leaving the skin on. My favorite way to cook eggplant is by grilling it on either a grill pan or a searing pan. On medium-high heat, grill each slice on both sides until tender and brown. There’s no need to add oil since the water content in eggplant will keep them from drying out, and it will help avoid any sogginess. Once all your eggplant is cooked, set aside.
2. Use either a large ceramic pan, pie pan or casserole dish and cover the bottom with olive oil. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, dried herbs, and the fresh thyme over the olive oil. Sprinkle half of the pine nuts throughout the pan.
3. Start a layer of eggplant slices on the pan’s outer side, one on top of the other like a fan until the pan is fully covered.
4. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts on top of the eggplant, and then the sun-dried tomatoes. Slice mozzarella into thin rounds and lay them on top.
5. Spread a thin layer of mustard on the side of one phyllo dough layer and lie the first phyllo dough layer on top of the cheese, pushing the edges of the dough into the sides of the pan. With a brush, coat each layer of phyllo dough with olive oil and layer it on top. Continue for about 7-8 pieces of phyllo dough layers.
6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until the dough looks brown and cooked well. The tarte should be bubbling, like lasagne.
7. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Just before serving, place a cookie sheet or large platter over the tarte pan and flip it upside-down (use hot mitts!). Pound on the tarte pan a bit to make it all fall out. Sprinkle fresh basil and the remaining pine nuts on top as garnish. Slice and serve!
We hope you love this Roasted Eggplant Tarte recipe! It’s:
• A rich and savory tarte nestled in a crispy phyllo dough crust
• The perfect make-ahead main course that will wow your friends and family for lunch or dinner get-togethers
• A simple meal-prep recipe that can be made once and eaten all week!