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Vegetable Torta with Tomato Coulis

  • SERVINGS: 8 first-course or 6 main course servings
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

Farms in Mexico and greenhouses in the States and abroad supply all the vegetables you'll need for this dish.

  1. 6 large unpeeled garlic cloves
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 2 medium zucchini, sliced lenghtwise 1/4 inch thick
  4. 1 pound plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  7. 1 large red bell pepper
  8. 11 ounces soft, mild goat cheese, at room temperature
  9. Tomato Coulis
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and roast for 40 minutes, or until soft and golden
  2. Meanwhile, brush 2 heavy baking sheets with some of the olive oil. Arrange the zucchini slices on one sheet and the tomatoes on the other, in a single layer. Brush the zucchini with olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast fro about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to brown; switch the baking sheets halfway though. Transfer the vegetables to a platter.
  3. Brush the baking sheets with more olive oil and arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer. Brush with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until soft and just beginning to brown. Let cool.
  4. Roast the bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all over. Transfer to a paper bag, seal and let steam for 20 minutes. Peel and core the pepper, discarding the seeds and ribs. Slice the pepper into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
  5. Lower the oven temperature to 325°. Squeeze the garlic pulp from the skins into a medium bowl. Add the goat cheese, salt and pepper and mash to a paste.
  6. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and brush the paper with olive oil. Line the bottom with the zucchini strips in a decorative pattern. Arrange half of the tomatoes and bell pepper strips over the zucchini. Spoon half of the goat cheese mixture in small dollops all over the tomatoes and peppers. Cover with half of the eggplant slices, overlapping them slightly. Top the eggplant with the remaining tomatoes and bell pepper strips. Dot with the remaining goat cheese and top with the remaining eggplant. Fold in any zucchini slices. Cover with a piece of oiled parchment paper and press down to compress the torta.
  7. Bake the torta for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan. Remove the parchment paper, place a large plate over the torta and invert. Carefully remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Serve the torta in wedges with the Tomato Coulis spooned alongside.
Make Ahead The torta can be refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days.
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