1 Recipe tart dough
4 Japanese eggplants
1/3 c Olive oil
2 Whole eggs
1 Egg yolk
1 1/2 c Light cream or half-and-half
1/2 c Basil leaves, loosely packed
-and thinly sliced
1/2 c Guyere or Provolone, grated
PREPARE THE TART DOUGH. Partially prebake it and set it aside.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Slice the eggplants into rounds or diagonal
pieces about 3/8-inch thick. Coat a baking sheet with a film of oil;
then lay down the eggplant slices. Brush the surface generously with
plenty of oil so the eggplant will not dry out; excess oil can always
be blotted up later with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper
and bake in a 450F-to-500F oven until the eggplant slices are lightly
browned and tender, but not completely soft, about 10 minutes each
side–they will bake further in the tart. Bring a pan of water to a
boil, plunge in the tomatoes to a count of 10, and immediately remove
them to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. When they have
cooled, peel them, then slice off ends, pull out the pulp and seeds
with your fingers, then slice them into rounds as thick as the
eggplant. (If the tomatoes are large, then cut the slices in half.)
Set the oven heat at 375F; beat the eggs and the egg yolk together
then whisk in the light cream. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, several
grindings of black pepper, a few scrapings of nutmeg, and the basil.
Scatter the cheese over the surface of the partially baked crust.
Loosely layer the eggplant and tomatoes over the cheese; then pour
the custard over all. Bake the tart until the custard is set and the
surface is golden–about 35-to-40 minutes. Let it cool at least 10
minutes before serving. This tart would go nicely with a California
pinot noir. Makes one 9-inch tart.