Today’s recipe comes from my sister Claire who loves to cook and entertain. If you’re following along, Claire tries a lot of new recipes and always shares them with me when she finds a winner. Sisters are the best, aren’t they?
I think you’re going to like this recipe from Nigel Slater’s cookbook, Greenfeast: Spring, Summer. Nigel is a longtime British food writer and journalist and to be honest, I’d never heard of him before my sister sent me this recipe. His cooking and writing style seems to be laid back and built around stories — almost like he’s sitting at your kitchen table chatting while you cook. You can check out his website here.
According to Claire, this eggplant puff pastry looks a little fancy, is “flaky and tasty” and remarkably easy to make. It can be served as a side dish or as part of a light lunch. Or it could be cut into small squares and served as an appetizer. I can’t wait to try it myself!
Let’s dive in…
Ingredients for Eggplant Puff Pastry
Here’s what you’ll need to make this versatile dish. The full recipe and directions are below:
- Eggplant (also known as aubergine): Low in fat and calories, eggplant gives you a decent supply of potassium and fiber. When it’s cooked to a creamy consistency (like we’re doing here), it’s a good stand-in for meat.
- Olive oil
- Frozen puff pastry: You’ll need just one sheet, thawed for about 30 minutes.
- Pine nuts: These will be toasted in a dry, shallow pan.
- Basil: This is the perfect recipe to use all that fresh basil from your garden.
- Garlic: The recipe calls for one clove, but in our household it would be two.
- Feta or Parmesan Cheese: You can add some to one-half of the pastry if you have any non-cheese lovers like we do (really?!).
Equipment and Supplies
Aside from a shallow roasting pan and baking sheet, you’ll need a food processor to whip up the basil sauce — or you could keep things really simple and substitute with store-bought pesto. You’ll also need parchment paper to line the baking sheet when cooking the puff pastry.
Looking for more recipes with basil?
Eggplant Puff PastryCourse: Lunch
Creamy eggplant and homemade basil pesto topped with cheese and cooked in a puff pastry is easy and delicious. You can substitute store-bought pesto for the basil sauce if you’re short on time.
Eggplant, 2 – about 1 1/2 pounds total
Olive Oil, 1/4 cup plus 1-2 TBSP (divided)
One frozen Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed
One egg, beaten — to wash pastry (optional)
- For the Basil Sauce
Pine nuts, 1/4 cup
Basil leaves, 1 1/2 cup
One clove garlic, minced
Olive oil, 1/2 cup
Crumbled feta or parmesan cheese
- Prepare the Eggplant (Can be done ahead, if you wish.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack set in center of oven.
- Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and place it cut side up in a roasting pan. Score the cut surface one way, then the other way, cutting through almost to the skin.
- Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil onto the eggplant. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake for almost an hour, until golden brown and the inside is soft and tender.
- Scoop the baked eggplant out of the skins. Pour any juices or oil into a bowl with the eggplant and mash it a little. [The eggplant can be cooked ahead and refrigerated until ready to continue.]
- For the Basil Sauce
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry, shallow pan. Put the garlic, basil and 2/3 of the pine nuts in a food processor and blend to a rough puree. You could also use store-bought pesto instead.
- Break up the eggplant mix with a spoon or fork. Add the basil sauce, loosely folding it into the eggplant.
- For the puff pastry
- Defrost one frozen puff pastry sheet for about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unfold the pastry onto the sheet. Gently score lines about 1/2 inch from the edge of the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Brush the rim of the pastry with the beaten egg, if using. Bake the pastry sheet for about ten to twelve minutes until it rises and is pale in color.
- Using the back of a spoon, gently press down the scored inner rectangle of the pasty to create a hollow. Spread the eggplant mixture, the remaining pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese on top.
- Return the tart to the oven for another ten minutes or so, rotating pan half-way through baking.
- Slice into serving sizes and enjoy.
- Get creative and use this recipe as a jumping-off point for other spring and summer vegetables. Try it with fresh tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese. Or substitute another roasted vegetable for the eggplant.
I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.
Now let’s hear from you. Have you tried this recipe? Do you have any questions or tips to share? How about another eggplant recipe? Don’t be shy!