Quadrifecta of Deliciousness
There are a few ingredients that improve just about any dish you add them to:
- Truffle Oil
- Caramelized Onions
- Roasted Red Peppers
Unfortunately, this Caramelized Onion & Eggplant Puff Pastry Tart does not have truffle oil. (Although I suppose if you really wanted to, you could add some. I mean, it’s a free country, right? Do what you want!) But! It does have caramelized onions, olives, roasted red peppers, and basil. It’s a veritable quadrifecta of deliciousness.
After I made this Leek & Olive Tart from Rikki Snyder’s food photography blog, I had a leftover puff pastry sheet sitting in the freezer, just begging to be made into something awesome. My little finger eggplants have been producing like crazy, so I roasted two of those, along with a small rosa blanca eggplant from the farmers market, as a topping. Everything else was simply what I had in the refrigerator that needed to be used. With a thrown-together recipe like this, there’s usually a high failure rate (at least in my kitchen, there is), so I piled on the toppings and crossed my fingers.
About the Recipe
I try hard to make most of my recipes really easy, but this one does have quite a few steps to it. Is it worth it? OH YES IT IS WORTH IT. After my first bite, I turned to my husband and said, “Whoa. I think this is one of the best things I’ve ever made.” And then my husband took his first bite and turned to me and replied, “No, this is the best thing you’ve ever made. You are amazing.”
See guys? Best thing I ever made. But it’s not so much because I’m amazing. (Although you’re welcome to think that I’m amazing.) It’s because when you add caramelized onions, olives, basil, or roasted red peppers to anything, it’s going to be delicious. There’s just no way around it.
- olive oil mister or cooking spray
- 2 small or baby eggplants, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 1 puff pastry sheet rolled into a large rectangle (about 9 x 12, but no need to be precise)
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian-blend cheese
- 1/4 cup quartered Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers I used the jarred kind
- 1/4 cup basil sliced into ribbons
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Spray a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Place eggplant slices onto sheet and spray tops with additional olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20–30 minutes or until softened and just beginning to brown, turning slices over halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and set aside. Lower oven temperature to 400°F.
- While eggplant is baking, start caramelizing the onions. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Allow onions to slowly caramelize, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently once onions begin to brown. Depending on your stove, this could take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. Be patient—it's worth it! Remove from heat.
- Place rolled-out puff pastry dough onto a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and use a spoon or spatula to push down the center of the crust, leaving about a 1-inch margin on all sides.
- Spread caramelized onions onto crust. Top with cheese, then roasted eggplant slices, olives, and red peppers. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Scatter basil ribbons onto tart just before serving.