Vegetable and Goat Cheese Terrine

2 red bell peppers
1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 3/8-inch-thick slices
olive oil
2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 11-ounce package soft mild goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh arugula, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pitted brine-cured olives (such as Nicoise or Kalamata)
whole arugula or frisee leaves for garnish
French bread

Char the peppers over a gas flame or in broiler until blistered and dark on all sides. Place in a plastic bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed the peppers and cut into ¾ inch pieces.

Preheat broiler. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil the eggplant about 3 minutes, carefully turn, and finish broiling until cooked through and golden on second side. Drain on paper towels. Broil the zucchini slices the same way, brushing with oil, seasoning and broiling until tender. Drain on paper towels.

Puree the goat cheese in processor until smooth. With machine running, add 3 tablespoons olive oil through feed tube. Add the bell peppers and process just until coarsely chopped and cheese mixture is beginning to look pinkish in color. Stir in the thyme, taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Line a 9x5-inch glass loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang all around. Cover the bottom of the pan neatly with a single layer of zucchini, trimming to fit. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the zucchini, followed by a layer of 1/3 of the chopped arugula and 1/3 of olives. Cover with a single layer of eggplant, trimming neatly to fit exactly.

Spread another 1/3 of the goat cheese on top, followed by 1/3 of the arugula and 1/3 of the olives. Finish with the remaining zucchini, cheese, arugula and olives, ending with a layer of eggplant. Fold plastic over to cover and press down gently to flatten the terrine. Chill until firm, at least 6 hours. (The terrine can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

Let terrine stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Line a platter with whole arugula or frisée leaves. Carefully peel back plastic wrap and unmold the terrine onto a platter. Slice into ¾-1 inch slices and serve with French bread.

Servings: 6

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