Friday, August 6, 2010

Layered Vegetable Torte

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 T minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan-reggiano
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh

Preparing the vegetables for the torte:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high, and the rack about 4 inches from flame. Brush eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms lightly with half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; if roasting, grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Roast or grill vegetables on both sides until soft.

* * * * * * * * *

Preparing the torte:
Coat bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan with oil. Layer a third of the eggplant slices into bottom of the pan, then layer in half the zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, garlic and basil, sprinkling each layer with a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat layers until all vegetable are used. Press the top with a spatula or spoon to make the torte as compact as possible. Sprinkle top with parmesan-reggiano and bread crumbs, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil.

Bake torte in oven until hot throughout and browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing outer ring of pan, then let cool for another 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Serves 4 to 6


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