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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eggplant and Red Pepper Terrine

Eggplant and Red Pepper Terrine
This eggplant terrine is a perfect dish for summer entertainment - layers of roasted eggplant, Mozzarella cheese, red pepper and parsley, chilled in a terrine form, and covered with a gazpacho-like sauce.

Eggplant and Red Pepper Terrine Recipe

Use high-quality, soft, fresh Mozzarella (the kind packed in water in the refrigerated section of the grocery store).


Terrine ingredients:
  • 3 large red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 large, firm eggplants (about 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or peanut oil (high smoke-point oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely-packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz of fresh Mozzarella, cut into 1/8-in slices, about 14 slices
Raw tomato sauce:
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 ripe tomatoes (1 1/4 lbs), each cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce


1 Prepare the red peppers. Arrange the red peppers on a broiling pan and place them under a hot broiler so that their upper surfaces are about 1/2 inch from the heat. Broil for 15 minutes, turning occassionally, until the peppers are blistered and black on all sides. (You can alternatively blacken the peppers directly over the open flame of a gas cook-top, holding them and turning them with tongs.) Place them in a brown paper or plastic bag and close the bag. Let the peppers steam in their own residual heat inside the bag for 10 minutes. Then peel them (the skin will slide off) and remove the seeds.
Note that Trader Joe's makes an excellent bottled cooked red pepper that can be used as a shortcut to the above step.
2 Prepare the eggplants. Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot. Cut the eggplants into 1/2-inch slices and lay out flat on a large flat surface such as a baking pan. Brush the slices on both sides with the grapeseed or peanut oil, and sprinkle with salt. Cook the eggplant slices on the grill, covered, for 4 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned and softened. If your grill does not have a lid, make a tentlike lid of aluminum foil and place it over the eggplant as it cooks.
3 Prepare the parsley. While the eggplant is grilling, soften the parsley by blanching it in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds. Remove, cool under cold water, drain.
4 Build the terrine. Line a terrine mold (loaf pan) with plastic wrap. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the bottom of the mold and top it with about a third each of the red pepper pieces, parsley, and cheese. Repeat, beginning and ending with a layer of eggplant, until all the ingredients are used. Cover with plastic wrap and press on the wrap to compact the mixture. Refrigerate.
At this point you can make the terrine in advance and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
5 Prepare the sauce. Place the garlic and tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth. Push the mixture through a food mill (fitted with a fine screen) over a bowl. Add the remainder of the sauce ingredients. Mix well.
To serve, pour some of the sauce on a large platter and unmold the terrine in the center. Cut it into slices and serve with the remainder of the sauce.

View original article here.

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon
Cauliflower lovers unite! I'm always looking for ways to dress up my favorite white vegetable. Here's a quickie, inspired by Southern Italian flavors. A little bacon (or pancetta), some roasted pine nuts, some garlic (of course), oregano, and red pepper flakes, and your cauliflower is ready for a debutante ball. Or a midweek meal. Enjoy.

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon Recipe

  • Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 pound bacon or pancetta, cut into batons
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste


1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2 While the water is heating, toast the pine nuts in a dry sauté pan until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them, as pine nuts go from toasted to burnt quickly. Set the pine nuts aside when they are toasted.
3 Add the bacon to the pan and fry gently over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside with the pine nuts. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute on medium-high heat, then add the cauliflower, pine nuts, bacon, oregano and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the garlic burn.
4 Turn off the heat and add salt and lemon juice to taste.
Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish