Goat Cheese Vegetable Terrine

6 large Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
3 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 large zucchini, slices lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
1 medium yellow squash, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 Maui or other sweet white onion, minced
12 garlic cloves
olive oil for brushing and sprinkling
salt to taste
10 ounces crumbled Puna or other fresh white goat cheese
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1 ripe tomato, peeled and seeded
Balsamic vinegar for sprinkling
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 sprigs fresh basil

To make the terrine: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Salt the eggplant slices and let sit for 30 minutes; rinse with cold water. Arrange the shiitakes, eggplants, zucchini, squash, onion, and garlic on an oiled baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 10 minutes. Set aside and cool. Squeeze half of the garlic cloves out of their skins and chop.

Line a 2-quart loaf pan, terrine, or triangular mold with plastic wrap, leaving 4 inches of plastic wrap hanging over each edge of the pan. Arrange the vegetables in the pan: Lay the eggplant and zucchini slices across the pan, alternating the vegetables and overlapping the slices to form a continuous layer. Let the slices go up the sides of the pan and over the edge. Sprinkle with onion. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of cheese on top of the onion. Top with a layer of peppers and a layer of basil. Top with another thin layer of cheese. Sprinkle with the mushrooms and the chopped garlic and top with another layer of cheese. Place the squash slices over the cheese. Put the tomatoes over the squash, and top with basil. Press down gently with your fingers. Fold in any extending eggplant and zucchini slices. Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the mold and refrigerate for 3 hours.

To serve:
Lift the mold out of the pan. Slice through the plastic with a serrated knife. Peel off the plastic and arrange a slice on each chilled plate. Sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper. Garnish with a sprig a basil and the unpeeled garlic cloves.

Makes one 2-quart terrine

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