Quick! We are having company! I slapped the phone shut and headed to my trusty recipe file.....you know, the sure thing...the ones that never fail and are always a hit with the guests! I decided I needed something very colorful, lifting any drab spirits and thoughts as it was so chilly and wet outside. The Barefoot Contessa's casualness in cooking is very appealing to me, especially with limited time. I love her books!
My torte was not a lovely as hers, but it did make quite a splash.
The Torte ~as adapted from her book.
2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices.
1 large red onion, cut lenghthwise and sliced.
1 t. garlic, minced.
1 t.olive oil.
1 t. kosher salt or sea salt.
2 red and 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut in half.
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
1 /2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Here comes the fun part!
Cook the onions, zucchini, garlic and 2 T. of olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Brush the peppers and eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes until soft but not browned.
Using a 6 inch round cake pan, place each vegetable in a single, overlapping layer, sprinkling the cheese, salt and pepper to taste between each of the layers of vegetables. Begin with half of the eggplant, then layer half of the zucchini and onions, then all the red peppers, then all the yellow peppers, then the rest of the zucchini and onions and finally the rest of the eggplant.
Cover the top of the vegetable torte with a 6 inch round piece of waxed paper. Place a 6 inch round flat disk on the top of the torte and weight it down with a heavy jar or something with weight on it. Place torte on a plate and chill. Drain any liqiuds, place torte on platter and serve at room temperature.