We don’t have a lot of chances to go bird watching any more, what with children and real life and all of their demands. But we went on a lovely bike ride this morning, and it makes me happy to know they’re all still there. We can still catch a glimpse of a bird and know what we’re seeing. We’ll hear a sweet little song, or a hoarse call, and we know what we’re hearing. We’re still part of their world, and they’re still part of ours.
So! Eggplant pie! It’s got thin layers of crispy rosemary/balsamic-marinated breaded eggplant. It’s got layers of chard and spinach, sauteed with garlic and red pepper and mixed with quince jam. It’s got layers of crispy toasted hazelnuts, and it’s got layers of melted cheese. Odd combination, you say? Oddly perfect together!! All in a crispy crust. If I do say so myself (when have I not, eh?) it turned out really delicious. I think this would be nice for a party or a picnic, because it tastes good even when it’s not hot out of the oven, and it holds together well for carrying around with you. So you can take it for an evening-time picnic, and walk around with it as you look for all the birds that come out at in the gloaming!
1 batch eggplant made this way. I cut the eggplant into thin rounds, and breaded it with mostly flour and about 1/2 cup bread crumbs. I kept the seasoning simple – lots of rosemary and a touch of basil.
Mix of greens – (chard and spinach are nice. I used frozen spinach, fresh chard and fresh spinach. Shocking, I know! I don’t like to use frozen spinach too often, but I didn’t have as much chard and fresh spinach as I thought I did, so I had to break into my emergency bag of frozen. I feel like you can never have enough greens! I used half a bunch of chard, one cup fresh and three cups frozen. Ended up with maybe 3 cups of cooked greens.)
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic – minced
1 t rosemary
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t basil
1/3 cup quince jelly
1 egg – beaten
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2-3 cups grated sharp cheddar, gruyere or mozzarella
Wash and dry and chop the greens. Warm the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and herbs. When the garlic just starts to brown, add the greens. Cook till they’re wilted but bright and the pan is starting to dry out. While they’re still hot, stir in the quince jelly. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in all but about 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg.
Preheat the oven to 425. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
Roll out 3/4 of your dough to be about 1/8th inch thick. It should fit the bottom of the pan, and just go up to the top all the way around. It doesn’t need to be neat or even, because you’ll be rolling it up.
Put a layer of 1/3 of the eggplant on the bottom. Spread half the greens over that. Then half the cheese, then half the hazelnuts. The put another 1/3 of eggplant. Then the rest of the greens, the rest of the cheese and the rest of the hazelnuts. Top with the last of the eggplant.
Roll out the remaining 1/4 of dough to be just larger than the top of the pan. Lay it on top of the eggplant layers. Pinch it all around with the bottom, and roll it down to make a rim. Use a fork to make pretty tine-marks and press it all together. Poke the top in a few places with a fork. Brush with the rest of the eggs.
Bake for about half an hour, till it’s golden brown on top. Let it sit for a few minutes before you cut into it.