Having had 3 weeks of work and indulging myself in hearty meaty dishes it was time to think vegetables..... How can you spruce up vegetables? A torta!!! which I have to say is not what I would have called it. My understanding of a torta was a Mexican sandwich, not a layering of vegetables. Maybe I should call it layered vegetables. That still doesn't sound right doesn't it? Anyway enough of me rambling, lets get the recipe up.
The original recipe calls for some of the vegetables to be roasted. I found that this took too long and dried out the vegetables too much, therefore I pan fried most of the veggies. This recipe will make enough for four people to have as a side or two people to have as a light supper. It would be great served alongside a fresh crusty baguette. We had it with grilled sausages and garlic pasta.
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Medium Eggplant
1 Large White Onion
1 Garlic Clove minced
Handful of Basil and Parsley finely chopped
6 Rashers Bacon (Optional)
Grated Havarti Cheese (Optional)
Cut the bell peppers in half and place on a baking tray flesh side down. Place under a very hot grill until the skins begin to char and blacken. Remove from the grill and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled removed the skins, stems and cut out the seeds. Cut the halves into quarters and lay flat.
Fry the bacon until crispy, remove from pan and allow to cool. Chop into small pieces. Reserve the bacon fat in the frying pan for the pan-frying of the onions.
Slice the eggplant and zuchini lengthwise approximatley 5mm in thickness and place in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and coat with a generous amount of olive oil. (This is where the original recipe stated you can roast this on a baking sheet in the oven until brown) I pan fried the eggplant and zucchini in batches in a dry frying pan until the vegetables were cooked through and browned on each side. Once again allow the veggies to cool.
Slice the onions into rings and fry them in the bacon fat with the garlic until they become softened. Once again remove from pan and allow to cool.
Now that all the veggies have been prepared, this is where the layering begins. Line an 8inch spring loaded cake pan with plastic wrap allowing extra plastic wrap to fall over the sides. This will be used to cover the vegetables once layered. Firstly layer half of the eggplant followed by a sprinkling of the herbs. Then layer with half the zucchini, peppers and onion mixture. Sprinkle with some more herbs, the cheese and bacon. Top with the remaining zucchini, peppers and onion mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining herbs and seal the torta with the remaining eggplant. Wrap the remaining plastic wrap over the top of the torta, press down and refrigerate for as long as you can.
To serve loosen the spring from the cake pan and gently remove the torta. Flip onto a plate and remove the plastic wrap. Allow to sit until it reaches room temperature then cut into large wedges.