Monday, June 22, 2009

Grilled Veggie Terrine


It's officially summer! Though the rain might keep you indoors temporarily, it's time to break out the BBQ grill- or buddy up to someone who has one. Meat eaters may have a stake (or a steak perhaps) in grilling, but it's time for vegetarians to reclaim their rightful place at the BBQ!

If you're going to make any grilled vegetable dish, this colorful terrine will certainly leave an impression on your guests and, hopefully, have them nixing that extra hot dog for veggies instead! Feel free to cheat like I did and pick up roasted peppers and marinated artichokes from your grocery store's deli section- you'll certainly save time, but be sure to blot the excess oil or marinade so that your terrine isn't too watery/oily. I'll also post some revamped summer BBQ sides (both vegan!) that will round out a perfect veggie barbeque... keep checking back!

The Whats:

* 8 or 9 slices of eggplant (1 eggplant should do the trick)
* 8 slices zucchini or yellow squash (1 large zucchini will also do the trick)
* 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, sliced in half
* 3 marinated artichoke hearts
* 3/4 cup sundried tomatoes
* 2 handfuls of arugula or spinach
* 1 cup fresh ricotta
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 2 tbsp. white wine
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp. black pepper
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* several basil leaves, finely chopped, or you can substitute 2 tsp. dried basil


The Hows:

1) Whisk together olive oil, white wine, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Place eggplant, zucchini, and peppers in a gallon size ziplock bag; add the olive oil mixture. Seal bag, and shake until veggies are coated.

2) Heat the BBQ grill; cover with non-stick foil. Place veggies over the grill and cook for about three to five minutes on each side, or until you start to see slight grill marks and veggies have softened. Remove from grill, and allow veggies to cool.

3) Line a 9" x 5" loaf dish with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over the sides of the loaf dish. Press half of the grilled eggplant slices at the bottom of the dish, overlapping pieces if needed to fit the loaf dish. Press 2 of the pepper halves on top of the eggplant, followed by half the zucchini slices. Spread the ricotta evenly over the zucchini slices. Press arugula or spinach into the ricotta. Break apart artichoke hearts and spread evenly over the greens. Top with sundried tomatoes, followed by remaining slices of zucchini, pepper halves, and eggplant. Tightly wrap the tops and sides of the plastic wrap around the terrine.

4) Place a kitchen towel over the wrapped terrine and place weights over the top- you can use pie weights or, as I did, small cans. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until terrine is thoroughly chilled and firm. To serve, remove weights and kitchen towel and pull wrapped terrine from the loaf dish. Unwrap terrine and invert onto a serving dish. Use a sharp knife to cut terrine into slices.

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