Sunday, March 29, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Terrine

I decided I wanted to try a few new things with this challenge. I did three things that I either have never done or haven't done much. I don't roast vegetables often, I've never worked with whole artichokes, and I typically follow a recipe for the most part. With this challenge, I made it up as I went along. It was fun although rather time intensive.

Here is what I started out with: plum tomatoes, asparagus, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, and whole artichokes. The idea was to roast (tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, zucchini) or saute (spinach, mushrooms, & artichokes) all the veggies and then create a layered terrine with a goat cheese mixture as the glue holding it all together.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and started roasting. First, I cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, drizzled them with olive oil, and added a little salt & pepper. I threw them in the oven for about an hour shaking the pan and turning it occasionally. At the same time, I roasted the asparagus with some olive oil, salt & pepper for about 10 minutes. Once the asparagus was done, I threw the peppers into the oven (no olive oil or anything). I left them in for about 40 minutes turning them in the pan occasionally. When I took the peppers out, I threw them in a bowl covered with a cloth for about 10 minutes so they could begin to sweat their skins off. I then peeled the skins off the peppers removing the tops, ribs and seeds.

While the tomatoes and peppers were roasting, I sliced cremini mushrooms and sauteed them with a little butter and olive oil in a pan. After that I sauteed the spinach in a little olive oil with some garlic and a dash of salt. I also cut the zucchini lengthwise in thin slices and laid them flat in one layer in a roasting pan. I drizzled them with a little olive oil and some lemon juice. When the tomatoes and peppers were done, I threw them in the oven for about 15 minutes flipping once midway.

During this time, I also worked with the artichokes a bit. I had to read the instructions on the packaging because I've never worked with whole artichokes before despite the fact that artichokes are one of my favorite foods. It required a lot of peeling. You peel the layers down until you've peeled all of the green off. Then you chop off the top third of it and throw it into a bowl of water with lemon juice to prevent browning. I think I should have probably put more lemon as they did still turn a little brown on me. When I was done with all of them, I threw them into a pan and sauteed them with olive oil for about 8 minutes. When I tasted them, I thought, this isn't what artichokes taste like! And I of course realized that what I'm accustomed to is marinated artichokes. So, I threw the sauteed artichokes into a bowl with a little white wine vinegar and some salt. Initially that just made them salty and vinegary. But after they sat there a bit, they got better. But ultimately, I decided I didn't think they would really add to the dish, so I omitted them. Oh, well. Now I know how to peel an artichoke. I'll probably stick with the canned variety though.

Once all of the roasting and sautéing was done, it was time to get the goat cheese mixture together. I knew from the get go I wanted to use fresh thyme. So I threw that in and mashed it together. But then I thought it needed something more, so I thought I would add a shallot. But I didn't like the idea of having the crunchiness of a shallot. So, I decided that I would caramelize them sautéing them with a little butter and sugar. Once done, I tossed them in with the goat cheese and mixed it up.

Now to put it all together. First I put plastic wrap inside the loaf pan to make it easier to get the terrine out in one piece. Then I started layering. First, asparagus, then the crumbled goat cheese mixture, next roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, mushrooms, goat cheese, spinach, goat cheese, red peppers, goat cheese, yellow peppers, goat cheese, and last, zucchini. After each veggie, I pressed the loaf down firmly to pack it tight. After the last layer, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

Today, it was time to see how it turned out. First I made a quick dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper. I had planned on using pistachio oil for the dressing which is why it is in the initial picture. But I worried that the flavor would overpower everything so I changed my mind.

The moment of truth.

It turned out, although not as pretty as I would have hoped. Looks a little messy.

I was a little worried about it staying together while I cut it.

But it held together pretty well. And on top of some spring mix with a little lemon dressing, it looks pretty good. It tastes even better.

Conclusion: If you have a bunch of roasted veggies on hand, try this. Otherwise it's a lot of work; might not be worth the time.


  1. Wow, Betsy, I'm impressed. It looks pretty too.

  2. I love what you've done! My sister-in-law gets a fresh box of local produce once a month. You don't get to choose, you just get what's coming. Stubs and I have been thinking about doing that. This could be a cool thing to do alongside that.

  3. I think it's gorgeous! And I wish it were closer to my mouth...

  4. Probably not something I would make for myself....way too healthy! But I admire the work that went into it. Good job. My question: what did EJ think of it? :)

  5. EJ of course did not try it as he and vegetables are not generally on friendly terms. But he did think it was a nice presentation. I'll be enjoying this for lunch today!

  6. Looks awesome. Good call on the goat cheese I bet that goes well.