Salting the eggplant draws out some of the bitter flavor and moisture. Less moisture in turn minimizes the amount of oil the eggplant will absorb. This dish has a crispy crackerlike crust, a nice contrast to the tender eggplant.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add water and 1 tablespoon oil, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 15 minutes.
Slightly overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp surface. Unwrap dough, and place chilled dough on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into an 11-inch circle. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap. Fit dough, plastic-wrap side up, into a 10-inch round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with a fork; bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare filling, arrange eggplant on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels; brush eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Stack eggplant slices on a plate; cover with plastic wrap. Let eggplant stand 7 minutes to steam.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, oregano, mint, and tomatoes.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons smoked mozzarella on bottom of baked crust. Layer eggplant and tomato mixture in crust; sprinkle with 6 tablespoons smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 wedges.
I'm an avid cooker and and like others, reading reviews this sounded like a good recipe to try. Followed it and it turned out way too bland for my taste. It seemed like it was missing something- a key ingredient to bring everything together. Used only fresh herbs and juicy tomatoes, but just it did not measure up. After tasting it and looking at it, I felt anxiety because I knew no one would eat it for left overs but I did not want to waste food and throw it out. Save yourself the disappointment and just skip it.
Reading all the great reviews, I couldn't wait to try this. I followed the recipe as written, and I was very disappointed!! The meal just didn't come together at all; it was more like a collection of ingredients inside a pie crust. The recipe required a lot of time for such little payoff.
Very good! I couldn't find smoked mozzarella so I used smoked Gouda. I doubled the garlic and did not use the mint. I also drizzled some olive oil on top before baking. Served it with a big salad. My husband loved it also. Perfect for meatless Monday!!
A terrific light summer supper! I used an herbed olive oil in the crust which made a big difference in the taste from the first time I made this. I also used heirloom tomatoes which I cored and seeded. The only smoked mozzarella I can find here is fresh, which has the benefit of less fat and fewer calories, so I can add a bit more - I used 4 oz, and at 60 calories per ounce, it has two thirds of the calories and half of the fat of regular smoked mozzarella. Even my carnivore husband loves this and doesn't miss the meat. :-)
Delicious! The second time I made it, I added smoked Gouda and some leftover roasted asparagus. I couldn't find smoked mozzarella, so I used regular mozzarella and added the gouda for the smoky favor. We will make this often. Everyone raved about!
Since I had everything in the garden I splurged on the smoked cheese. Thought it was too overpowering and not worth the extra expense. Might try again with regular cheese. I also used a refrigerated pie crust.
This was a lot of work for what tasted like margherita pizza. It was not filling enough for my husband who insists on having meat w/ every meal; I don't think he cared for it. However it was tasty & filling enough for my 2 adult daughters and I.