Eggplant Quiche with Tomatoes and Olives

1 small eggplant (about 1 pound)
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained (about 1 1/2 pounds), see note
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crumbled
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 unbaked tart pastry shell, without sugar (recipe follows)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Tart Pastry
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound cold butter, in small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the eggplant on an oiled pie plate and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork. Turn up the oven to 425 degrees. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel it and coarsely chop the pulp. Put in a colander with the tomatoes, press once gently to drain, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Heat skillet and sauté the onions in the oil slowly until soft; add the garlic, eggplant and tomatoes and sauté 2 minutes, then add the olives, salt, pepper and oregano. Cook 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Put the eggplant mixture in the colander and drain 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat the eggs and cream in a bowl until mixed. Spread the eggplant mixture over the bottom of the tart shell. Pour the egg mixture over the eggplant and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 300 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve in wedges, hot or cold.

Note: To seed tomatoes, halve the tomatoes horizontally, hold each tomato half over a bowl and squeeze to remove seeds.

Tart Pastry Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal or tiny peas.

Whisk the egg yolk and water together in another bowl, add to the flour mixture, and blend until the pastry is smooth and holds together in a ball. Food processor method: Process first the flour, salt, and butter quickly together, then add the egg yolk and water through the funnel and process until the dough balls up around the blade.

Wrap in foil or plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. You can roll this dough out with a rolling pin, but you would have to chill it, wrapped in plastic, for at least 20 minutes. We find it easier to pat it into a pan or springform pan with our hands. Pull pieces of dough from the ball and press them over the bottom and sides of the pan, using the heel of your hand. The dough should be thick enough to hold the filling, but be careful that it is not too thick around the bottom edge or the finished tart will seem coarse. If there's time, cover the lined pan snugly with foil and refrigerate it before filling and baking it. Bake as directed in the filling recipe, or prick the bottom with a fork and bake it unfilled for 12 minutes in a preheated 425-degree oven. If you use a springform pan, do not remove the sides until you are ready to serve the tart.



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