Roasted Vegetable Torte, Not as Easy as Pie
(But let’s face it–pie isn’t so easy anyway!)
The Roasted Vegetable Torte. There it was. Every time I opened the cookbook the picture would be there, waiting for me. I would check it often, to see if it still had that same effect on me: longing.
It was too beautiful for words, too pretty to make. How would I ever cut into it? And which friends liked roasted veggies enough for it to be worth the effort?
But I could wait no longer.
I bought the most beautiful veggies I could find. Cheerful red and yellow peppers, a glossy red onion, a shiny black eggplant. I sliced them with care and brushed them generously with extra virgin olive oil, generous pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I lay them all out on large baking sheets to wait their turn in the oven to roast. The veggies turned dark and soft in the oven.
I prepared a spring form pan and layered the veggies with cheese. I placed a plate on top to weigh it down and a plate on the bottom to catch the juices.
And then I waited another day.
When dinnertime came, I opened the fridge to find the veggie tart waiting patiently for me in the fridge. I can’t say I displayed the same virtuous trait, but now, the time had come!
Time to un-mold…top view:
I put it on a cake stand, something worthy of its beauty, and left it on the counter to come to room temperature.
When my dinner guests arrived I let it sit on the counter in the center of all of the hubbub.
Surrounded by the sounds of clinking glasses and laughter, I let it bask in admiration and let it get the ooohs and aaahs it deserved.
I’m ready for my close up:
I carried it to the dinner table, gingerly, and placed it down amid other loved dishes, the spice rubbed roasted salmon, the tomato-feta salad, the warm homemade bread.
It was hard to make the first cut. But well worth the wait.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Roasted Vegetable Torte
- 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices (sometimes I skip zukes and double up on the other veggies I like more)
- 1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus another few tablespoons for brushing veggies
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 red bell peppers, halved, cored, seeded
- 2 yellow bell peppers, halved, cored, seeded
- 1 eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 inch slices ( 1 1/2 pounds or more)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (but I like to switch this our for soft herbed-goat cheese)
1. Preheat over to 400 F.
2. In a large saute pan, place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the zucchini, onions, garlic for 10 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Brush the bell peppers and eggplant with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, until soft, but not browned.
3. In a 8 inch round cake pan (I used spring form but either way it works), place each vegetable in a single overlapping layer, sprinkling cheese, salt and pepper to taste, between each layer of veggies. Begin with half of the eggplant, then layer half of the zucchini and onions, then all of the red peppers, then all of the yellow peppers, then the rest of the zucchini and onions, and finally the rest of the eggplant.
4. Cover the top of the veggies with a round of wax paper. Place a plate on top so that it is sitting right on top of the veggies, and weigh it down with a heavy jar. Place the whole thing on top of a larger plate to catch the juices in case it leaks (it will), and place it in the fridge until it is well chilled (might as well make it the day before).
5. When ready to serve, drain the liquids, un-mold and serve at room temp. Cut it into wedges like a cake and enjoy!
Can’t talk right now…gotta go!