Eggplant Tortino

Autumn 2011
food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman

This is a magnificent crustless pie that is a superb main course with a salad or a first course cut in smaller pieces. You can serve a tomato sauce on the side if desired. It may seem like a lot of Swiss chard but it cooks down to make just enough for two layers for this dish.

⅓ cup (80 mL) + 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 lbs (1 kg) eggplant, sliced in ¼-inch (5-mm) slices (about 2 large eggplants)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bunches Swiss chard, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 16 cups/4 L)
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped garlic
1 tsp (5 mL) chili flakes
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
1 cup (250 mL) grated provolone cheese
3 eggs beaten with a pinch of salt
1 ball (8 oz/250 g) buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
½ cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 Using ⅓ cup (80 mL) olive oil, brush 2 baking sheets with a thin layer of olive oil then brush 1 side of eggplant slices lightly with olive oil, and place, oiled-side up, slightly overlapping, in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, switching positions in the oven halfway through or until eggplant is browned and softened. Let cool. Reserve.

3 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil. Add Swiss chard, garlic and chili flakes and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until chard is wilted (if there is a lot of liquid, drain chard then return to skillet before adding cream). Stir in cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add provolone and stir until melted. Let cool, then stir in eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

4 Oil a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Cover bottom of springform pan with a third of eggplant slices, spread on half of chard mixture and top with half of buffalo mozzarella slices. Repeat layers ending with a layer of eggplant. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned and filling is set.

5 Let stand for 10 minutes, then remove sides of springform and cut into slices to serve.

Serves 8