Mmm, pie crust. Tasty, tasty pie crust. I loves me some pie crust! I’ll eat that stuff raw, right off of the counter after I’ve rolled it out. I’ve been known to snag the extra bits of crust that people usually throw away just to eat them raw. There’s something awesome about the cold water/flour/butter mixture. And don’t even get me started on when you get a little grain of salt that tingles on your tongue before you crunch it away.
Okay, I’m weird. But honestly, I’m not sure how I’ve survived this long without a buttery, flaky pie crust. Especially now that fall has started to show its glorious face. Sure, I could make a pie crust with vegan butter. It’s just not really the same.
I decided I had had enough of the “no pie crust” thing and I decided I was going to make one. The problem was that I didn’t actually have any vegan butter left. Instead of letting the sadness get me down, I improvised.
Oil, while an acceptable substitute for a pie crust, didn’t really give the same consistency I usually use for my pies. I’m sure it would have been fine, but I’m picky. So, I decided to use my experimental crust for my dinner instead.
This tart could be a main meal, it is hearty and protein packed. It could also be turned into an appetizer by pressing the crust into a muffin tin and making mini pies for people to snag and eat. Really, it’s one of those recipes that you can do anything with. And you should. Go wild. I did, and see how it worked for me?
And because I was so excited about the glorious smell of the crust, I forgot to take a picture. Enjoy one of Brian instead!
Herbed Oil Tart Crust
Makes one bottom crust. Double recipe if you would like a top crust.
Preheat oven to 375*.
- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Herbs- I used Rosemary, Marjoram, and Basil because it’s what I grabbed. Use what you like!
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 4-5 Tablespoons Cold Water
Combine the flour, salt and herbs in a bowl. Add the oil and about 4 Tablespoons of water. Stir it together with a fork, it will be crumbly. Incorporate all of the liquid, adding a little more water if needed. You want it to be moist, if it is too dry it crumbles when you try to work with it.
Once the dough is fairly mixed, feel free to mush it around with your hands! It’s fun to get messy. Press the dough flat, by hand if you like. I used a rolling pin to roll it just less than 1/4 inch thick. Place your filling in the center and fold the edges part way over the filling, leaving the top open. It’s rustic!
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cut into quarters. Dig in.
Eggplant, Tomato and Chickpea Filling
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 Can Chickpeas
- Herbs- I used Marjoram, Parsley, Cumin, and whatever else I had in my cabinet that smelled good
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Olive Oil
Cut the eggplant into rounds, then quarters. Cut the tomatoes in half, then slice them into wedges.
Heat the oil, garlic, and spices on medium and add the eggplant and onion. Let that cook for a while, stirring occasionally. Be careful with your gorgeous eggplant, don’t mush it. Once the eggplant is mostly cooked through, add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Continue cooking until it is just warmed through.
At this point you can do any number of things. Bake it as a tart using the recipe listed above*, turn it into a soup by adding vegetable broth and simmering, stuff a pita or eat it as it is. Mmmm.
- 2 Tablespoons Butter Substitute
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 1 Teaspoon Better than Bouillon (I used vegetable, but you can use the vegetarian chicken or beef one if you’d prefer)
Make a roux by melting the butter substitute over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for about a minute making sure the butter and flour combine and you do not burn the flour.
Add the hot water and bouillon and stir or whisk. Once it thickens to the consistency you like, remove from heat. Crack some fresh pepper over the top and serve over the Eggplant, Tomato and Chickpea Tart.
*If you’d prefer your tart without gravy, you may want to add some moisture to the eggplant and tomatoes while you are cooking them. I’d suggest adding about 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and letting that cook down a bit before adding to your tart crust. It’s a little dry without the gravy.