Feta is really having a moment right now for me. While the hype around the viral feta and tomato pasta recipe has died down, I’ve been adding feta to just about every dish I’ve been whipping up lately. Whether it’s crumbled on top of leafy salads or smeared on a crostini with datterini tomatoes, I can’t get enough of it. This obsession is precisely what led me to create this savoury tart.
Torta salata is something that I’ve grown to love a fair bit since moving to Italy. Add any vegetables that are starting to go bad in your fridge along with some cheese and you’ve got a pretty stellar meal option. Think cauliflower, broccoli, onions, eggplant, zucchini, radicchio or squash paired with cream cheese, mascarpone, feta or mozzarella!
Luckily, torta salata is also a crowd pleaser...because who doesn’t love flaky pastry? It’s the perfect way to trick your body into eating a healthy dose of greens while also fuelling the soul with the butteriness and richness from the other ingredients.
In sum, torte salate are always a good choice. Given that they’re super easy to make, even someone with minimal skill or desire to cook can create a knock-out dish without much thought!
Feeling a bit lazy and in fact noticing my lonely wilting eggplant in the fridge, I decided it was the perfect time to test out a new recipe. Thankfully, I always keep a roll of puff pastry in my freezer, so I figured there’d be no better use for it than accompanied with feta and eggplant to create a sort of Mediterranean baba ganoush-esque dish!
I’m not going to lie to you, I fully intended to scarf down this entire tart when I made it. The setting was just right—rainy evening, Netflix streaming episode after episode of Atypical and half a bottle of leftover wine from the day before. However, I was actually quite delighted with myself that I couldn’t in fact eat the entire tart as it turned out to be quite filling! I managed only one quarter alongside a lightly oil and vinegar salad, leaving the rest for leftovers and stock for my freezer!
I want to mention that while I used a Greek seasoning blend that I had laying around in my spice cabinet, there’s no need to worry if you don’t have or can’t readily buy a similar spice mix. All you need to do is combine equal parts of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil and parsley!
On a similar note, I really do love spice blends because they’re convenient and take out some flavour guess work when cooking for different cuisines. However, most of my spice blends tend to be made from scratch since making the move abroad because (unsurprisingly) Italians don’t have those pre-mixed seasonings at the supermarket that I was once so accustomed to. That means that I’ve had to get creative and create my own blends of pumpkin spice, everything-but-the bagel, Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern and Indian spice blends!
Anyways, the end result of this feta and eggplant torta salata was even better than what I had imagined prior and I hope it’ll inspire you to try your hand at making savoury tarts!
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Feta & Eggplant Torta Salata
* Makes 4 servings *
3 cups eggplant (1 medium-sized eggplant), cubed
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic (skin on)
1 package of feta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1 package of puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
In a shallow roasting pan add eggplant, shallot, garlic and feta. Coat with oil, salt and spices. Roast for 30 minutes.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and add ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and fragrant. Add an egg and pulse again. Set aside.
In a glass tart dish, unroll puff pastry. Add the eggplant mixture and spread evenly on top. Fold edges of the pastry dough inwards so that the tart is covered partially.
Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is flaky and golden brown.
Slice and serve with a simply dressed leafy salad!