Roasted Vegetable Tart

Now that I’ve discovered I can actually make tart shells (having the right size tart pans helps), my fear of making tarts is slowly dissipating. To me, tarts hold a semblance of elegance and simplicity. They can be spruced up or dressed down, like a good pair of dark denim jeans. And then there’s the versatility – sweet or savory, plain crust or enhanced with herbs or nuts. Delicious opportunities abound.

When I found these beautiful and petite Fairytale Eggplant at my farmers market, I couldn’t resist the urge to bring them home. How could I just leave them there? The coloring alone was alluring enough. Forget the simple fact that I rarely never prepare eggplant.

On top of that, there’s the tomato quandary, which Casey has been trying to keep straight in the five+ years we’ve known each other. The tomato quandary sounds something like this: “What do you mean we’re roasting tomatoes? I thought you didn’t like tomatoes? Wait…raw tomatoes are a no-go, but you’ll eat them cooked?” Yes, I’m a bit strange. Raw tomatoes weird me out. I love their deep rich colors, their earthy-acidic scent; but five years ago, I would flat out tell you I am not a tomato fan. Of course, my tastes evolved.

I distinctly remember helping my mom pick tomatoes from her garden a few years back, and popping ripe, sun-warmed tomatoes into my mouth. Delicious. A new appreciation of tomatoes began. Granted, I still prefer them cooked in some fashion.

Taking inspiration from Local Milk, I combined the farm fresh tomatoes and eggplants with olive oil, thyme, shallots, salt, pepper, and small drizzle of aged balsamic. Cooked in a whole wheat and comte crust, this tart made a delicious dinner with fresh salad on the side.

Roasted Vegetable Tart, adapted from Local Milk

For the crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup shredded comte cheese
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, the melted butter, and comte cheese with the chopped thyme and salt. Using your fingers, combine and until the dough comes together. It will be slightly wet. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan.

For the vegetables:

  • 1 pound farm fresh tomatoes
  • 5-6 fairytale eggplant
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 -2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Combine the above ingredients until they all coated with olive oil and balsamic. Pour over the cheese-crust.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour or until the crust is golden. Cool for roughly 10 to 20 minutes. Serve with a salad.

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