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Not your average fruitcake

The flavors of warm Mediterranean sunshine come through in this easy vegetarian tart that is perfect for a holiday celebration.

The addition of golden raisins may seem a bit odd, but they add a sweet touch to the otherwise savory flavors. We’ve opted for an easy pre-made puff pastry dough as our shell, but homemade or purchased pie crust would work, too.

This tart works equally well as an appetizer or a vegetarian main course. If you need the tart to be vegan, simply use a vegan pastry and leave off the cheese.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until softened, about 8 to 9 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and wine, then add to the pan. Add the roasted red peppers, oregano and raisins. Cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

On a lightly floured counter, roll out each pastry sheet to a rough circle 12 inches in diameter. Place each pastry sheet on one of the prepared baking sheets. Spoon half of the filling into the center of each pastry, leaving 2 inches uncovered around the edges.

Fold the 2-inch edge of the pastry up over of the filling. Sprinkle the exposed filling with the cheese and pine nuts. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastries are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Nutrition information per serving (based on 16 servings) (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 200 calories; 110 calories from fat (54 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 300 mg sodium.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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