Another great appetizer to add to your list. We made this cornmeal-crusted roasted ratatouille tart from our Appetizers booklet by Fine Cooking on Saturday night. This booklet has become our new favorite. Four recipes which we marked as keepers and there were many others we would have liked to have tried.
This tart was very different tasting. It had a great cornmeal crust which balanced the freshly roasted eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. The layers of mozzarella cheese and chopped basil pulled everything together. It was an appetizer which you might serve in late summer after you picked your vegetables fresh from the garden...absolutely amazing. The tart slices disappeared as quickly as we put them on the plate.
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/3 cup whole-grain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced eggplant rounds (about 1/3 medium eggplant)
- 1 zucchini, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds (about 8 ounces)
- 3 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine cornmeal, pastry flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to incorporate. Add butter and oil and pulse about 20 times, until mixture resembles small pebbles. Add water and pulse until mixture forms a loose dough. Remove dough from processor and press into bottom and about 1/8-inch up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a detachable rim. Press aluminum foil into the bottom and sides of the pan on top of the dough and weigh down with uncooked rice or pie weights. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove rice and foil. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until no longer shiny and wet. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the filling: Increase the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat; saute shallots until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Spray 2 baking trays with cooking spray. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini and tomato slices on the trays in a single layer and brush with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast the vegetables until soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the vegetables from oven and cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Lay the eggplant slices in 2 layers on the bottom of tart; cover with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and some of the shredded basil. Add the zucchini and shallots, top with another 1/3 of the mozzarella and basil, then the tomatoes. Top with rest of the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and vegetables have further wilted. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and cut into 8 slices. Serve warm.