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Eggplant-Goat Cheese Tart

This recipe calls for using the large, purple pear-shaped eggplant (known as a globe eggplant), which is the most common variety found in supermarkets. Feel free to substitute other varieties, such as the slender Japanese or Asian eggplant; the small, white egg-shaped eggplant; or the miniature eggplant.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter,
      cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. ice water, plus more as needed

For the filling:

  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 eggplant, about 1 1/4 lb., cut into 1/2-inch
      cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup seeded and diced plum tomatoes (3 or 4
      tomatoes)
  • 5 oz. goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

For the salad:

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the pastry, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the flour and salt and beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the butter and continue beating until the mixture resembles pea-size crumbs, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time and continue beating, adding more water as needed, until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a 5-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness to fit a 13 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch tart pan. Press the dough into the pan and trim dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang around the rim. Fold in the excess dough and press it into the sides so they are thicker than the bottom. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil, add the garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the eggplant, toss to coat well, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring often, until the eggplant is tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and let cool 15 minutes.

Brush the pastry with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and spread the tomatoes evenly over the bottom. Spoon the eggplant over the tomatoes, then crumble the goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, thyme, salt and pepper. Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, about 1 hour. Transfer the tart to a wire rack and cool at least 10 minutes.

Just before serving, make the salad: In a mixing bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Remove the tart from the pan and cut the tart crosswise into slices about 3 inches wide. Serve the salad alongside.
Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.