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eggplant and tomato high summer puff pie

September 16, 2020

August garden abundance? This pie was one of my favorite meals this summer.

—THE INGREDIENTS
Eggplant
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Onions and/or garlic
Salt and pepper, and your favorite herb (fresh basil from the garden?) or seasoning (I used fresh mint)
Puff pastry
Yogurt and feta (or pesto, or leftover tomato sauce…)
(optional) Melty cheese for the top, like brick mozzarella or pepper jack

—THE VEGETABLES
The goal is to get the moisture out, so the crust doesn’t go soggy. I went all out with this and pan-fried slices of eggplant after a salt soak, and then slices of zucchini. To save time, you could just roast everything until it’s mush, and then layer it in the pie. Might not look as pretty, but it’ll do the trick!

I used slices of fresh raw tomatoes – way too moist for the crust. Remove seeds and goopy parts, and then roast or broil slices of tomatoes, or pan-fry slices on a medium-high heat.

I used a zwiebelkuchen technique on the onions. I sauteed them on a super low heat for about 45 minutes, until they got caramelized, and then added a splash of apple cider vinegar to make them sweet and tart! Recommended, but not necessary. Added a little minced garlic right at the end, too.

—THE FILLING
I loved a Mediterranean style filling: crumbled feta mixed with yogurt and salt. But it would be great with a layer of sour cream, creme fraiche, yogurt cheese, pesto, leftover strained tomato sauce, bechamel… My mom made one this week, inspired by my recipe, with just fried zucchini and sour cream, and she said she loved it with sour cream.

If you want it super-cheesy, feta isn’t necessary. You could make this with mozzarella, sharp cheddar, even swiss. Whatever floats your boat.

Or leave the dairy out completely and add a layer of pesto. This is a very flexible pie!

—THE CRUST
You can definitely make this with any kind of crust. Puff is tricky about moisture – next time I plan to try the just-a-layer-of-tomatoes “crust” from posh in progress.

—TO ASSEMBLE PIE
preheat oven. (maybe 350 if your pie is deep and heavy, or 375 if you’re using a traditional, shallow pie dish?)

prepare pie crust. if using a homemade crust, blind bake the crust. if using frozen puff, defrost and roll out. if using frozen phyllo, brush sheets with melted butter and layer in a casserole dish.

add a layer of the driest eggplant to the bottom of the dish.

next, add a layer of zucchini slices and a layer of tomatoes. (or. you know. whatever order you want to layer them in is fine.)

pour on a layer of your filling, making sure that you strain the excess moisture if you’re using a very wet sauce.

repeat til you reach near the top of the dish, or until you’re out of ingredients. top with a melting cheese if you like.

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Recipe by me, sig at friedsig and inspired by a zweibelkuchen and a typical summer pie

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Absolutely one of my favorite things to happen during this long and difficult summer. Sending love to (almost) everyone reading this.

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