This dish has been called a vegetable torte by one cookbook writer. It might as well be called a terrine too.
Neither are accurate. The former is closer to a cake, and falls into the pastry category. The latter is a savory dish, usually associated with meat and fat.
But for lack of a better term we will call it a grilled vegetable terrine.
Look for the freshest vegetables you can find. Eggplants should be firm and spring back to the touch, and not have any indentations. Zucchini and summer squash should be stiff and firm. Red peppers should be solid and have no soft spots.
This is an amazing way to get a good helping of vegetables. Best served at room temperature, it begs to be eaten with some crusty, crunchy bread. And then you can mop up the yummy balsamic vinegar and olive oil too. You could even put this in a sandwich.
You can mix it up with different types of squash, with or without potatoes, with or without onions. You can make it however you want. But I like to use at least several different colored vegetables so that when you assemble the grilled vegetables, you get beautiful layering of different colors.
Roasted red peppers are definitely a must. For added color, you could use orange or yellow ones too. I made mine with grilled potato slices as well, but after making it I will opt to leave them out next time. You could also use some of this delicious garlic confit in it, or even our oven roasted tomatoes.
You will definitely prefer cooking the vegetables on the grill over oven roasting them, as there is nothing like the mildly smoky flavor you get from grilling.
Grill, assemble and enjoy!
- 1 in large yellow onion sliced crosswisethick strips
- 1 large egg plant peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2" strips
- 1 red bell pepper roasted and peeled and deseeded
- 1 yellow bell pepper roasted peeled, deseeded
- 1 pound zucchini sliced lengthwise in quarter inch strips
- 1 pound yellow squash sliced lengthwise in quarter inch strips
- 2 cloves to 3garlic finely chopped or 2 to 3 cloves garlic confit
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Place all prepared vegetables in a large deep dish.
Add olive oil, garlic, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat all pieces generously.
On a hot grill, cook all vegetables until fully tender. Be especially sure to cook eggplant well as you want it very soft. It's okay if it starts to fall apart.
In an 8 inch springform pan, begin with one type of vegetable and cover the bottom.
Sprinkle some Parmesan shavings and a little balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste..
Continue to layer the vegetables one by one, adding some Parmesan shavings and balsamic vinegar between layers.
Press down all vegetables firmly with hands, then cover the top with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Place the now filled springform pan on a plate. Place a 6 inch plate on top and add a weight on top. Leave in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, to allow to drain.
Cut into wedges to serve
Leave out the parmesan cheese if you want to go vegan.