Eggplant, Pepper and Goat Cheese Terrine (version II)

2 large Eggplant stems removed
olive oil
salt to taste
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2/3 cup pitted chopped nicoise, kalamata, or picholine olives
2 tablespoons drained, rinsed capers
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped basil
3 large red or yellow bell peppers
8 ounces fresh goat cheese beaten with
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts coarsely chopped
basil oil see * Note
fresh herb salad
reduced balsamic vinegar

Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices and brush generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and arrange in one layer on baking sheets and broil in batches about 4 inches from heat until eggplant is golden and tender. Transfer with a spatula to paper towels and allow to drain.

Combine the olives, capers and herbs in a bowl and set aside. Char the peppers and remove the charred skin with the point of a knife. Discard the stems and seeds and cut peppers lengthwise into wide strips.

Line a small 4-cup loaf pan or terrine with plastic wrap, leaving a 3 to 4-inch overhang. Arrange the eggplant, olive mixture, peppers, goat cheese and pine nuts in several layers, beginning and ending with the eggplant. Cover the eggplant with the plastic overhang and weight the terrine with a 4- to 5-pound weight, such as another loaf pan filled with canned goods, and chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

To unmold, remove the weights and invert the terrine onto a cutting board. Remove the pan and the plastic wrap and carefully cut slices with a serrated or electric knife. Place slices on chilled plates, and garnish with a small fresh herb salad, drizzles of Basil Oil and reduced balsamic vinegar.

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

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