Late Summer Veggie Torte


I'm sure that there are many reasons that someone might decide to make a food blog.  I can think of a few:
1.  Sister lives far away and wanted recipes on a regular basis.  A food blog is a great way to make that happen easily.
2.  You really want a cooking show ('cause you think you're hilarious) but since that's never going to happen a food blog seemed like the next best thing.
3.  You take great pictures and you got sick of nobody noticing how awesome your pictures are so you thought if you threw some great pictures in with some of your stupid thoughts and a recipe that more people might care.
4.  You're a good cook.  Let's get out there and get it recognized.
5.  You write well and food blogs get more traffic than writing blogs do.
6.  You're looking for a way to add a part-time job to your week... with no pay.
7.  You're looking for a way to escape from the chaos that is your life.  When you are blogging nobody bothers you.
8.  You are tired of hauling your ass off to some job in a big building somewhere and would love to create work for yourself that you could do at home and that would still include a 'community' feel.
8.  You are somebody who loves cooking and taking pictures and you totally plan ahead.  You've got recipes planned into the next month and a grocery list to boot.  You've thought of all kinds of witty-awesome things to say and your pictures are thoughtful and beautiful.  Congrats,  You are Perfect.


The possibilities are endless.  I'm not going to tell you which ones of the above are me and which ones aren't.  I probably don't need to.  I'm sure that you've already guessed and that your guesses are mostly right.  The honest truth is that I plan almost nothing.  That's probably why I don't have thousands of people checking me out and/or offering me tv show and cookbook opportunities.  That's ok with me.  I cook for my fam and friends and rarely do I think beyond the necessity in front of me.  I hope that I get good light for pictures but I don't always.  Sometimes I don't get to cooking anything at all.  Those are the weeks where you get my garden pictures or some adventure we went on.  Sometimes I forget to take a picture at the right time.  I really should plan more.  I know that.  Sometimes I don't even plan what I'm going to write (ahem...) and just sit down at the keyboard and will my fingers into action.  Mostly, we need to eat and I want to eat good, interesting food.  That's my planning in a nutshell.


This recipe was not planned.  I literally looked at what had just come in with the food box and from the garden (my eggplant - !), typed those ingredients in and looked at what recipes came up.  This epicurious one popped up and within minutes I got it started.  It happened fast.  And it was good.  It's a little fuss - some pots and putting together and all - but it's not difficult at all.  In fact it was pretty easy and it made a lot.

Random Silly Shot - If you are looking for something to do with all of  those fennel fronds...

Late Summer Veggie Torte adapted from Epicurious
serves 6 - 8

2 medium (fat preferably) eggplants
2 lg red pepper, thickly sliced
2 lg zucchini, thickly sliced lengthwise
olive oil
salt
1 cup soft goat cheese

Tomato Sauce
1 lg leek, thinly sliced
3 med garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 - 1/2 cups fresh tomato, chopped
1 veggie boullion cube
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp italian seasoning
dash of pepper sauce

Bechamel:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk, warmed
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups parmesan freshly grated
1 tbsp Worcestershire
sprinkle of lemon zest
dash of pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon liner.
Place the eggplant slices on the parchment and then brush the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
Roast for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the eggplant looks just browned and is soft.
Remove the eggplant and replace with the zucchini and red pepper.  Brush those with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for about 25 minutes or until the red pepper looks soft and just browned.  Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile for the sauce:
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the leeks and the garlic and cook together just until the leek is just beginning to brown.
Add in the chopped tomatoes.  Turn down the heat to med/low but keep the tomatoes just simmering.  Add in the boullion cube, salt and italian seasoning (a mix of parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary which you could just as easily add in individually).  Stir and let simmer for another 20 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile for the Bechamel:
Heat a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.  Add in the butter until melted.  Add in the flour and mix together until it forms a paste.  Turn the heat down to low and slowly add the milk and cream, whisking steadily throughout.  Once all of the liquid is added then continue whisking slowly until the mixture begins to thicken.  You should feel a noticeable thickening.
Add the parmesan, Worcestershire and lemon zest and set aside to cool slightly.
After a few minutes, once the mixture has cooled a bit, whisk in each egg slowly.  Add the pepper sauce if you opt for that.

Line a lg 9x13 baking dish with the eggplant (I made mine squish into one bottom layer).  Sprinkle half of the goat cheese over that in spoonfuls.  Pour half of the tomato sauce over that.
Layer the zucchini and red pepper over that.  Sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese over that.  Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over that.
Pour the béchamel/egg sauce over everything.  Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan.
Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until everything is bubbly and golden on top.
Cool for about 20 minutes before serving (I'm not kidding - it's gets so much better)

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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