Mediterranean Terrine

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves:

    6–8

Appears in

Sometimes it’s worth making a little extra effort to cook something for a special occasion, and this is a beautiful and tasty option. It’s crucial to season generously with salt and pepper between each of the layers.

PREPARATION: 30 minutes
COOKING: about 1 hour, plus 2 hours 30 minutes chilling and cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine)
  • fine sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing and oiling
  • 3 zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 yellow capsicums (peppers), quartered and seeded
  • 2 large red onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 455 ml (16 fl oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar powder
  • 250 g (9 oz) marinated red capsicum (pepper) (drained weight)
  • basil leaves, to serve

Method

Cut the eggplant lengthways into 1 cm (½ inch) slices, sprinkle with fine sea salt and put in a colander set over a bowl for 20 minutes. Pat dry.

Meanwhile, set a griddle pan over a high heat, lightly brush with oil and cook the zucchinis until tender and charred. Set aside. Brush the griddle with more oil and cook the yellow capsicums in the same way, setting them aside separately to the zucchini. Repeat with the eggplant.

For the onion layer, heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes, or until very soft. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Cook for a further 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the passata layer, simmer the passata, the remaining sugar and 100 ml ( fl oz) water in a small pan for 5 minutes. Add the agar-agar and simmer for 3 minutes more, stirring. Set aside.

To assemble, lightly oil a 24 x 12 cm (9½ x 4½ inch) loaf (bar) tin and line with plastic wrap, letting it overhang the sides. Spread a thin layer of passata mixture over the base. Layer the zucchini on top and season with salt and pepper. Add more passata, then the eggplant slices. Repeat with the yellow capsicum and onions, seasoning and adding some of the passata mixture in between. Finish with the red capsicum, then gently press to compact the vegetables. Pour over the remaining passata. Cool for 30 minutes, then chill for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, invert the tin onto a serving plate or board, lift off the tin and carefully peel away the plastic wrap. Slice and scatter with basil leaves to serve. Delicious served with non-dairy sour cream and country-style bread.