Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Late Summer Vegetable Tart

This has been a crazy month with things really starting to pick up at work.  The month started with a Sunday watching triathletes and wishing I was one, when I in fact was only there to run the 10K portion of the race.

Then the following weekend I was off to Chicago for work.  Since we finished up early on Saturday, Amy and I played tourist and went for a bike ride around the city.  The only problem was, I somehow ended up with a men's bike that was WAY to big for me.  Oh and I totally tried to poorly ride my the hybrid bike I was on through sand...which almost resulted in me falling with the bike into the lake.  

Of course when I am in most cities there were morning runs, where I continued to explore the city and fall in love with it.

One morning I even got a little inspiration in the dark.

Okay down to the tart that I actually made right before I left and enjoyed for lunch.  It is a simple pleasure to feed others, and I was so happy to be able to share this tart for lunch with co-workers.  It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to.  Simple fresh ingredients jam packed with flavor are what really make this tart.  The inspiration for it really came from the orange graffiti eggplant I found at Harris Teeter.  And since you eat with your eyes first, I brought some colorful heirloom tomatoes to go along with them.  The tart re-heats up easily in the toaster oven and is perfect for any lunch.  Enjoy!

I literally rushed home from work to try and get a picture of this produce in natural light.  It was the only way to photograph it.

Tomatoes sliced and sprinkled with salt to draw out the water.

The same process happens for these eggplant and 

...zucchini.  The eggplant and zucchini then get roasted and set aside to cool.  Then we set up the starts and into the oven they go.

Late Summer Vegetable Tart:
2-3 small orange graffiti eggplant or one large purple eggplant
2-3 heirloom tomatoes of differing colors
1 small zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh pesto (I used some I made earlier this summer that I had frozen)
1/2 cup shredded skim milk mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/8 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted for 30 minutes

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Take puff pastry out of the freezer to defrost.

2.  Wash and slice vegetables, layout on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Let rest for 12-15 minutes and then dab with a paper towel to remove water from tops. 

3.  Place vegetables on prepared baking and lightly drizzle with olive oil; then lightly sprinkle with pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove vegetables from the oven.  Place the eggplant in a bowl and then tightly cover with saran wrap to soften the eggplant.

4. Carefully unfold the defrosted puff pastry.  Cut into for even squares.  Then using a knife, cut a square 1/2 inch inside the puff pastry, with the knife only going halfway through the thickness of the puff pastry...basically creating a "crust" area because we are going to put the "filling" inside of the smaller square.

5.  Spread a tablespoon of pesto evenly on to each pastry.  Then layer each with eggplant, then tomatoes, then zucchini.  Sprinkle the top of each with basil and oregano, then top with the shredded mozzarella.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown and the mozzarella is melted.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Note:  If you are serving at a later time, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container and reheat in the toaster oven on 300 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

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