Eggplant Pie

Warning: this is politically incorrect. Deal with it.

I’ve mentioned this before, but one reason my guy said I couldn’t be a kept woman was because I’m “too much of a man”. There are indeed many a day where I’m “the man” and he’s “the woman” in our relationship. Sadly none of those days coincides with pay day…

Anyway, this man LOVES to shop–especially for clothes and shoes, but it really doesn’t matter. Black Friday may be his favorite day of the year. On the flip side, I loathe all malls and DSW is a personal circle of hell. But he is constantly hunting for deals and steals. One of his favorite weekend activities is to wake up at 6 in the morning, “sweep” online for a few minutes, then drive around a bunch of cookie-cutter, cluster-home subdivisions and go to garage sales. I wish I were joking, and I wish I could say I haven’t experienced this first-hand. But I’m not, and I have.

Now, what does any of this have to do with a recipe for eggplant pie? After making this dish, I emailed him asking if he could keep a eye out for something at his precious garage sales. He was intrigued. He wanted to know what it was I basically was asking him to buy used, what I couldn’t just buy online (or more realistically, find a way to live without). What was it that his woman wanted?

beater

That’s right: a hand crank egg beater. Now I’m sure OXO sells some high-quality modern version of this, but I feel the need for the retro. The steel. The hard plastic handles. I’m willing to let him rub in my face for years that I asked him to get me something at a garage sale if it means I actually get the damn beater (ideally without also having to go to the garage sale).

The following recipe was adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. He may be my favorite cookbook author ever. Not a single recipe of his (knock on wood) ever has gone bad for me. But, let me tell ya, you need that hand crank egg beater. An electric hand mixer would be overkill–you wouldn’t have the control that you get with the manual. And all I had on me was a whisk which, while giving me my arm workout for the week, makes cooking a royal pain in the ass.

This dish is tasty and is relatively cheap. I want to say it’s healthy (though, it may not be. It is delicious, after all.). It reheats extremely well.

One thing I did do but probably should not have: I paused the cooking process. Ottolenghi said immediately after roasting the eggplant to knock down the temp and get the pie in relatively fast. I didn’t do this–life got in the way (well, student emails and then a call from Mom, among other things). I suspect that getting the pie in immediately as the oven actually is cooling would make it brown more nicely. But I’m still beyond satisfied with my results.

Make it. NOW.

EGGPLANT PIE

INGREDIENTS:

  • Eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tomatoes (pearl, mini-grape, etc.)
  • Feta (4-6oz)
  • Cream cheese (4-6oz, bring to room temp)
  • 1/2 and 1/2, or some heavy cream
  • Three eggs
  • Za’atar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F. Slice the eggplant and place on a baking sheet. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
    20170501_123750
  2. Bake the eggplant for 35-40 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned. When cooled, arrange the eggplant in the bottom of a lined and greased (with oil), square dish. Place sliced tomatoes on top of the eggplant, and “in the nooks and crannies” of the dish.
  3. Take the feta, cream cheese, cream and eggs and mix them together. You want the end result to be as smooth as humanly possible and like the consistency of a thick custard.

    20170501_150946
    This is a work-out, lemme tell ya.
  4. Season this liquid mix with za’atar and black pepper, and pour over the veggies.

    20170501_152137
    Best I could do, consistency-wise.
  5. Bake the pie at 325*F for about 30-40 minutes, or until the egg has fully cooked.
    20170501_152310
    Pre-oven.

    20170501_160143
    Post-oven.
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