Sunday, 4 January 2015

Onion, Eggplant, & Tomato Savoury Tart (v. 0.2)

You have to start somewhere, right?

I did not really want to cook anything tonight, but got inspired by a story about the onion (which was pretty mediocre really) on some news website (either The Guardian or The Age), which in itself is unremarkable, but it made me consider what I could do with the abundance of red onions that my partner and I bought from the market the other day.

This post will also serve as somewhat of an introduction to what this blog is, or will be, if I manage to keep it up.

You see, I am terrible at noting down nice recipes that I come up with. So this serves as my own personal "recipe book", if you like. But I figure that other people might also like them. The difference – I hope – between this and other food blogs is that I will be using this to document the development of recipes, somewhat like the development of music scores, from an early version (0.1) through to a finished version (1.0), and possibly beyond. I have a suspicion that many will stay at 0.1. However! There is an opportunity here for other people to join in the experimentation and suggest changes/etc. So I liken it to "experimental music", where the outcome is potentially unknown (though sometimes anticipated), and may not actually work.

So that's the idea. Now for the first recipe. Remember, this was made up 20 minutes ago, and I have no idea how it tastes.

Onion, Eggplant, & Tomato Savoury Tart (v. 0.2)



Ingredients

1.2x sheets of shortcrust pastry (vegan, in my case) [the remaining 0.8 will be used in another recipe]
3x medium-large red onions
1.5x large tomatoes
0.5x medium-large aubergine/eggplant (split lengthways)
~7 oyster mushrooms
Cracked black pepper
Ground white pepper
Salt
Asafoetida
Olive oil
Dried basil
About 10 dry bay leaves
Spray oil for tart tray (I used canola)

Method

If using frozen pastry, thaw it. Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced).

Top and tail the three onions, cut them in half, then slice them. Keep it reasonably rough.

With the half eggplant, slice it in half length ways, repeat, and repeat again (for each quarter), then chop the small wedges in half sideways to get ~3-4cm length wedges.

Spray a tart tray/shallow pie dish with oil. Lay the 1.2 sheets of pastry as necessary to fill the dish and neaten the edges if necessary/use the excess to complete the edges too.

Grind some black pepper all over the pastry.

Add the onions in one large layer, remember that they will reduce substantially with cooking.

Add eggplant wedges in slightly layered circle around the outer edge of the onions. Sprinkle salt over the wedges, then drizzle olive oil on top of that.

Trim the stalks off the oyster mushrooms and place them in the centre, and with any extra mushrooms cut them in half and place them every 2-3 wedges of eggplant.

Chop the tomatoes in thin slices. Place on top of the wedges, close-ish together, and then one or two slices in the centre.

Cover with white pepper, basil, asafoetida, and some more olive oil, and wedge bay leaves in/on the top layer.

Place in the oven uncovered and bake for about 80 minutes, making sure that the eggplant is cooked (use your eyes and/or a skewer)

Serve with a side of rocket/roquette lettuce, with a drizzle of lime juice, and a few slivers of avocado. I don't roquette available tonight, so it will likely be a mixed-cabbage and carrot dry slaw, with avocado.



Slaw Side

Given that my avocados were bad, and I lacked roquette, I made this slaw in place.

Ingredients/method

Red cabbage, green cabbage, carrot: all grated, not too much as it's a side.

A squeeze of lemon juice, some ground black pepper and salt, hand mixed and served on the side.

Verdict

Really, really damn good.



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