Eggplant, tomato, and smoked cheese pie

Winter is packing its final clouds and spring is almost here. Wherever you look there is fresh green grass, beautiful flowers and trees coming back to life. Spring always inspires me. Not because of its beauty which I do love but because everything in life seems to reinvent itself without even the slightest glance back at what was before. Trees bloom again without worrying about how many of their blossoms will make into fruits. You’ll never find a tree that says..Oh last years most of my blossoms were blown off by that rain that came unexpectedly so I’m worried and scared to try again. Flowers bloom with the colours of the rainbow without hesitating for a heartbeat. They don’t stop to think that maybe this year the heat will come early and their lives will be cut short by the rising temperatures. No matter how hard, cold or long winter was, life starts over, pure, fresh and strong never saying that this winter was too harsh and I just can’t go on…or I can’t keep doing this..reinventing myself every year….

Spring to me is a wonderful inspiration. We all have our winters. Times in our lives when things are tough. When you long for warmth and comfort. When things are so dark and gloomy that you wonder if you will ever see the light again. But the lesson in spring is that.. change is one of the rules of life. Things never stay the same for long. And if we only could hold on a little longer spring will come and we can start over..

But the question is…When your spring comes..Can you start over fresh and new? Or do fears and worries keep holding you back ?

Today’s recipe is a wonderful change from regular pie…it is light and LOADED with layers of flavour..When you bite into it you’ll enjoy the smoky taste of the cheese, the hint of herbs and garlic, the delicious eggplant and tomatoes and the absolutely yummy crust.

The recipe s originally from myrecipes a great site for light recipes but I changed it a bet.

I added herbs and paprika to the crust,used smoked frico cheese instead of smoked mozzarella, cut down on the garlic and the parmesan a bet because I didn’t want them to overwhelm the flavor

The recipe might have multiple steps but believe me it is easy and so worth it.

Crust:

1  cup  all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon  baking powder

1/2  teaspoon  all spice

1/4 teaspoon died oregano

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon dried mint

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1/4  cup  water

1  tablespoon  olive oil

Cooking spray

Filling:

Eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided

1/2  teaspoon  olive oil

2  garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2  teaspoon dried basil

1/2  teaspoons dried oregano

1/2  teaspoons  dried mint

Plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

Smoked frico cheese

1  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.

Combine flour and the herbs, salt and baking powder in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture.

Add water and 1 tablespoon oil, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 15 minutes.

Roll the dough on a slightly floured surface, into circle slightly larger than your pie dish. Fit the dough into the pie dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with a fork

 bake at 200 C till the bottom is slightly golden (about 10-15 minutes), put under the broiler for a couple of minutes to ensure that it dries up a little so that it wont get soggy when you add the filling . Allow the crust to cool

To prepare filling, arrange eggplant on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 15 minutes.

Pat dry with paper towels; brush eggplant with oil. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Place them under the broiler till they are golden brown then take them out and flip them and brown the other side. Stack eggplant slices on a plate; cover with plastic wrap. Let eggplant stand 7 minutes to steam.

Place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, oregano, mint, and tomatoes.

Arrange the smoked cheese on the bottom of baked crust.

Layer eggplant and tomato mixture in crust; drizzle with the oil you cooked the garlic in.

Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan  and a dash of oregano.

 Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

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