Is anyone else battling with too much eggplant this time of the year?
We’ve been getting 2 eggplants a week from our CSA for a few weeks now. I made this awesome appetizer not too long ago, and I wanted to try something new today.
So I made these eggplant margarita puff pastry tarts, and they came out delicious. I mean, there’s no way food can be anything other than delicious when there is a flaky crust, breaded eggplant, and melted mozzarella cheese. I think Aldo mentioned how good this was after every bite. He also couldn’t decide if it tasted more like eggplant parm or margherita pizza, hence the name: Eggplant Margherita Puff Pastry Tarts.
So here’s the recipe. I ended up with too many eggplant circles and not enough puff pastry, so I made a few stacks of eggplant-tomato-cheese without the puff pastry, and those were really good too.
Eggplant Margherita Puff Pastry Tarts
Makes 8 tarts. Total time: 40 minutes.
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 2 small eggplant (or 1 medium/large eggplant)
- 2 large tomatoes
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella
- 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or plain will work too)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 large handful basil leaves
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Canola oil for frying
- Non stick spray
1.Preheat the oven to 400F. Put some parchment paper on a large baking sheet (or 2 medium ones for both puff pastry sheets) and spray with non-stick spray. Thaw the puff pastry and lay it out on the parchment paper.
2. Prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplant into thin 1/4 inch circles. Set up two small bowls near the stove – one with breadcrumbs, and one with beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste to the eggs.
Dip the eggplant in egg and then into the breadcrumbs, make sure both sides are evenly coated.
Heat up some oil in a pan and fry the eggplant for about 2 minutes on one side, or until nicely browned. Carefully turn over the eggplant slices and add more oil. Fry on the other side for 2 minutes until nicely browned.
Remove the eggplant and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Repeat until all the eggplant is cooked.
3. Slice the tomatoes into 1/3 inch slices, and the mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch slices, or as thin as you can get it.
4. Did the puff pastry thaw? OK, good. Arrange the eggplant on the puff pastry, leaving about 1-4 to 1/2 inch edge of puff pastry all around. Add the tomato slices on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with basil leaves.
If you have extra fried eggplant and tomato, feel free to also make a few eggplant-tomato stacks and bake them for the same amount of time as the puff pastries.
5. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the tray from the oven. Add the mozzarella slices on top, and place in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the puff pastry has puffed up and turned golden brown on the sides.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to slice each puff pastry tart into quarters. If the tarts are still too hot, you might have trouble cutting through the melted cheese, so give it another minute or two.
7. Enjoy! You can pick these up and eat them like a pizza if you wait until they’ve cooled… or if you can’t wait, use a knife and fork to ea the deliciousness (that’s what we did!).
There’s some oozy cheese on this one. That’s OK, oozy cheese ain’t never been a bad thing!
And here are the ones I made out of the extra eggplant/tomato/cheese: