With the weather cooling off a bit I do not mind having the oven on as much which opens the doors to a lot more recipes. This is good because there are a few of them that have been building up on my to try list and the first one on that list was this recipe for an eggplant tortino that I came across in a recent Food & Drink magazine. I am a big fan of eggplant but it had been a while since I last did something with it and the idea of using it in a savoury pie stacked in layers along with swiss chard and plenty of cheese sounded really good! One of the things that I like about this recipe is that the eggplant is roasted which helps to ensure that it is nice and tender in addition to bringing out its natural flavour. Another great thing about this recipe is that it uses no less than three kinds of cheese including provolone, which is melted into the creamy swiss chard layer, fresh mozzarella, which is stacked in the pie, and parmigiano reggiano (parmesan) which on sprinkled on top to melt while it bakes. I served this eggplant tortino topped with my favourite marinara sauce to which I added some chopped kalamata olives for an extra hit of flavour.
Eggplant Tortino in a Kalamata Olive Marinara Sauce
A rustic crustless pie with layers of eggplant, swiss chard and cheese that makes a great light meal when topped with a tasty marinara sauce and served with a salad.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 bunches swiss chard, stems removed and leaves sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup cream or half and half
- 1/2 cup provolone, grated
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant with oil, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake in a preheated 400F oven unto tender and just browning on the top, about 15-20 minutes and set aside to cool.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and swiss chard and saute until the swiss chard has wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in the cream, bring to a boil, remove from heat and mix in the provolone until it melts.
- Let the chard cool and mix in the eggs.
- Cover the bottom of a greased spring form pan with 1/3 of the eggplant followed by 1/2 of the swiss chard mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/3 of the eggplant, the remaining swiss chard mixture, the remaining mozzarella, the remaining eggplant and finally the parmigiano reggiano.
- Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling, about 25-35 minutes.
- Serve topped with marinara sauce.
Tip: Eggplant can be a bit on the bitter side and if you do not want this you can sprinkle the slices with salt and let them sit in a colander for 20-30 minutes before rinsing them, patting them dry and using them in the recipe.