Terrina di vegetali con coulis di peperone rosso e porri/Vegetable Terrine with Red Pepper and Leek Coulis

  • Serves 6
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 7 inches each), cut into long slices, 1/16-inch wide
  • 1 (9 ounce) red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, cleaned
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded and divided
  • 4 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 4 (1/8-inch - thick) rectangular slices
  • Salt
  • FOR THE LEEK COULIS
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces fresh leeks, cleaned well, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock (page 346)
  • Salt
  • FOR THE RED PEPPER COULIS
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock (page 346)
  • Salt

Recipe from The Al Tiramisu Restaurant Cookbook

The intrepidly bold presentation of this terrine always puts a smile on people’s faces, and when sliced its vibrant spurts of color create a mosaic-like work of art.

Terrines often include meat or fish, but in an effort to create a vegetarian version, I came up with this recipe. My challenge was to find an ingredient that would serve the important role of binding together the vegetables. So, I turned to one of my favorite cheeses, smoked mozzarella, which does the job well while enhancing the flavors of the vegetables. If you prefer, you can use fontina, provolone, caciocavallo, or other types of cheeses in place of the smoked mozzarella.

This is a wonderful summer dish, served as a whole terrine and then sliced, or prepared in individual ramekins.

Note that the terrine must chill in the refrigerator at least four hours before serving, which makes it a great dish to prepare ahead.

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Grease a cooking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. Place the zucchini slices on top and turn to coat with oil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Let cool and set aside.
  4. Heat the broiler or a grill. Place the whole red bell pepper under the broiler or on the grill. Rotate it so that it blisters and blackens on all sides.
  5. Remove from the heat. Place the pepper in a paper bag, seal well, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully open the bag and remove the pepper. Peel away the skin and slit down one side to open. Remove seeds and rinse. Slice pepper into long 1-inch wide strips and set aside.
  7. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add the garlic and cook until it releases its aroma, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add the spinach, toss and cook until tender, 2 minutes.
  10. Discard the garlic and place the spinach in a colander. Press down to squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
  11. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  12. Line a terrine mold (6 inches by 3 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches), with three-quarters of the zucchini slices in one layer completely covering the bottom and sides of the mold. (Take care to line up the zucchini slices in a neat, visually attractive manner since the bottom will ultimately become the top of the terrine.)
  13. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and one-fourth of the basil on top.
  14. Layer the peppers on top of the zucchini, pressing gently so that they adhere and  sprinkle 1 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano and ¼ of the basil on top.
  15. Layer the smoked mozzarella slices on top, and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano and one-fourth of the basil on top.
  16. Add a layer of the spinach, pressing down gently so that it adheres.
  17. Top with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil. Layer the remaining one-fourth  zucchini slices over the top to create a cover for the terrine and press down gently.
  18. Place the terrine mold into a larger baking dish. Add enough boiling water to the outer baking dish to cover 1 inch of the bottom of the mold.
  19. Carefully transfer the dishes to the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  20. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To make the leek coulis

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the leeks and vegetable stock. Stir. Cook uncovered, 15 minutes.
  3. Place in a blender with the center spout removed. Hold a folded, clean kitchen towel over the spout and pureé until you have a creamy, homogenous sauce. Salt to taste.
  4. Let cool. Place into a container, cover with a lid, and refrigerate until serving.

 To make the red pepper coulis

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper and vegetable stock. Mix well and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.
  4. Place in a blender with the center spout removed. Hold a folded, clean kitchen towel over the spout and puree until you have a creamy, homogenous sauce. Salt to taste.
  5. Let cool. Place into a container, cover with a lid, and refrigerate until serving.

To serve

  1. When the terrine has set, carefully invert it onto a serving platter.
  2. Spoon big dollops of the leek coulis and pepper coulis on each side of the platter around the terrine.
  3. Smear a little of the coulis to make a splash-like design. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on top. 

Italian Cooking Primer

Instead of the red pepper and leek coulis you can use other seasonal vegetables, such as peas, broccoli, yellow peppers, or your preferred vegetable.

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