We are happily settling into September now. And while I’m mourning the loss of sun-ripened berries, there is still an abundance of late harvest crops that deserve our undivided attention. Like corn, eggplant and tomatoes. And I’m on a mission to make the most of them. Because they will all be gone before you know it. So let’s not dilly dally.
About a week ago I whipped up a big batch of my Tomato-Shallot Jam with some of these beauties that I found at the farmers market. I wanted to use the jam as a pizza topping. But because I was feeling to lazy to make a real pizza, I made this “cheater” version with puff pastry and I’m calling it a “tart”. Which then feels all fancy and grown up and makes it seem like I’m not lazy at all. Right? Are you with me?
Good. This is why we are friends.
If you have the Tomato-Shallot Jam made in advance, the more power to you. But if not, don’t worry. You can make the jam while the eggplant slices are having their nap time with the salt and paper towels. Easy as pie. Or as easy as store bought puff pasty! See what I did there?
It’s all very simple to put together. All you do is layer goat cheese, jam and eggplant slices on top of your puff pastry. Then bake it up for about 25 minutes. Next, blend up a few ingredients for a creamy avocado topping. And done! You’ll be eating in no time!
Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Tomato-Shallot Jam Tarts with Avocado Crema
- For the Tarts
- 1 small-medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- Approximately 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. water
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 4 ounces herbed goat cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Tomato-Shallot Jam
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- For the Crema
- 1/2 avocado, pit and skin removed
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Make the tarts. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the eggplant slices. Lay the slices on a paper towel, then cover the tops with additional paper towels. Place something large and flat on top of the paper towel (a cutting board or baking sheet works well), and let them sit for 15 minutes to release some of their water.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Beat the egg and the water.
- Lay the thawed puff pastry on a baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash. Then spread the goat cheese evenly over the surface of the puff pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border. You want the goat cheese to be very soft so you don’t tear the puff pastry. I placed mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds, which helped me spread it easily. Spread the Tomato-Shallot Jam evenly on top of the goat cheese. Add the eggplant slices, arranging them to fit in a single layer. Brush the tops of the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes. The puff pastry should be golden brown and the eggplant slices should be soft. Remove from the oven and allow the tart cool about 5 minutes before slicing.
- While the tart is cooling, make the avocado crema. In your food processor of blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth.
- To serve, top the Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Tomato-Shallot Jam Tarts slices with the Avocado Crema. Garnish with extra basil leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.