My husband is a meat-eater. He’s Argentinian, which means that loving meat is ingrained in his DNA.
While dating, I once made one of my favorite dishes for him–a pasta primavera with tons of delicious vegetables. Not once did I consider the fact that the lack of meat would leave Arie wanting. He devoured the dish, then looked around, wondering where the next course was. “No meat?” he asked. “Oh…um…” Ooops.
The next time I made the dish, I made sure to add a fair amount of chicken as well. I felt sure my days of vegetarian cooking were over.
Then I came across this recipe for a vegetarian tarta. I read Arie the ingredients and asked him what he thought. “Can you add some meat?” Somehow, I saw that coming. However, never having made a tarta, the rule-follower in me wanted to stick to the original recipe. Maybe chicken or beef inside throw off the ratio, or even damage the taste. It didn’t sound like a chance worth taking this first time. “What about meat on the side,” he pleaded. I turned the pages in my recipe book, looking for a meatier meal.
Fortunately, Arie is usually willing to try anything once. He encouraged me to make the dish, promising to be open minded. The next day, I bought the ingredients and made the tarta for dinner.
This tarta surpassed both of our expectations. Even I couldn’t imagine that such a simple dish to make could be so delicious. The vegetables were crisp, flavorful, and “meaty” enough to satisfy the carnivore sitting across from me.
Arie still thinks chicken could be a tasty addition, so maybe next time I’ll give it a try! He said he would be happy to eat this tarta either way. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- eggplants - 2 small, thinly sliced
- zucchinis - 2, thinly sliced
- garlic - 1 clove, diced
- sun-dried tomatoes - 10 pieces, thinly sliced
- pie crust - 1
- egg whites - 2
- milk - 1 cup (200 cc), fat-free or low fat
- salt - 1/4 tsp.
- pepper - 1/4 tsp.
- thyme - 1 Tbsp.
- mozzarella - 1 1/2 cups (300 g), cubed
- chia seeds - 1/2 Tbsp., optional
1. Cut the eggplant and zucchini into 1/2 cm slices. Dice the garlic.
2. Put the eggplant, zucchini, and garlic in a microwave safe dish and cover. Steam in the microwave for 6-8 minutes or until tender. (You may steam on the stove top if you prefer.)
3. Slice the sun dried tomatoes, and set aside.
4. Lightly coat a pie dish with cooking spray or butter, and press the crust into the dish.
5. Once the eggplant and zucchini are steamed, layer them in the pie dish. Incorporate the sliced sun dried tomatoes among the eggplant and zucchini.
6. Mix the egg whites, milk, salt, pepper, and thyme together in a small bowl. Pour on top of the vegetables. The egg and milk mixture will not cover the vegetables completely, but will rise while baking.
7. Cut the cheese into cubes. Put the cheese on top of the vegetables, and sprinkle with the chia seeds.
8. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 40 minutes. Watch the pie transform in the oven. Delicious!
Tip: Add mushrooms, yellow squash, other seasonal vegetables, or chicken into this tarta for your own variation.