I promise this dish is worth the effort. The result is delicious and beautiful, in presentation and in feeling. When I finished cooking this dish and tasted it, I was reminded of the feeling of reward from planting a garden and watching it flourish. Totally worth it, the pulling of weeds and all!
Let’s detour for just a sec and discuss knives and their importance on having a positive cooking experience. I believe that full attention and respect given to the act of using a knife is imperative but having a good SHARP knife is also so important. A good knife can change your whole chopping, cutting, slicing, and dicing game! Don’t be afraid to collect your knives one at a time. Not every good knife holds the same brand name or comes in a set. I have favorites sure, but I have a variety of styles and brands and I have 2-3 knives that do most of the work. What feels good in your hand and allows you to use with confidence? It’s also super important to sharpen your knives. I know, I sound cliché but it’s a truth I just want to make sure you take into consideration. So many people find frustration in the steps of cooking and it’s usually because they don’t have the right tools, or their tools are too fancy when something simple is needed, or their favorite knife is dull. This recipe reminded me how important the right tools are…some I used for this recipe were a cutting board, two knives (chef’s and utility), a microplane, a mandolin and measuring spoons/cups. Anyhow, just my two cents – prep work doesn’t have to be scary, the reward is almost instant, and your tools make a difference.
Now, let’s get into this dish! I LOVE roasted veggies. It’s one of my go to dishes for any and all events – you can serve a couple pans of roasted veggies for dinner with the family, a dinner party, take them to a potluck, or even pack them for a picnic. The best part, roasted veggies are easy to prepare! I typically just chunk up a bunch of different veggies – sweet potatoes, red onion, brussel sprouts, garlic cloves, tomatoes, kale, carrots, etc. (whatever is in season) and throw them on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt and pepper, red wine vinegar, and a little soy sauce (tamari for GF) and red pepper flakes, bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 min (based on oven). Yum and easy! There’s an extra quick and easy recipe for ya! 😊
So…I was thinking about the Fresh Box for this week, which is FULL of color and that got me thinking about pretty food, of course. The dishes that popped up in my mind were ratatouille and roasted veggies. Then I thought about a terrine. Typically, terrines are made of meats and vegetables in gelatin or pate’ form. That’s not super appealing to me, but a layered loaf of roasted veggies with creamy cashew cheese and a garlic tahini sauce – now that sounded awesome, and it was. Okay — let’s GET FRESH!
Roasted Veggies – Terrine Style
Prep Time: 30 Minutes (Veggie Prep) / 20 Minutes (Loaf Assembly)
Cook Time: 35 Minutes (Roasting Time)
Yields: 6-8 Servings for each loaf
Ingredients (bold ingredients found in your Fresh Box this week):
- 2 medium Yellow Squash (thin-medium slice – 2 notches on mandolin)
- 2 Neon Eggplants OR 1 regular Eggplant (thin-medium slice – 2 notches on mandolin)
- 1 medium/large Green Bell Pepper (thick julienned slice)
- 6 cloves of Garlic (microplane grated)
- 1 large Zucchini (thin-medium slice – 2 notches on mandolin)
- 4 medium Carrots (slice long-wise – or coined, just make sure they’re thin)
- 4 small/medium Turnips (peel skin and thin-medium slice – 2 notches on mandolin – be careful with these and use the guard. turnip flesh is tough when raw so they are more difficult to slice through the mandolin – you can always hand slice them, so you don’t slice your hand!)
- 1 medium/large Red Bell Pepper (thick julienned slice)
- 6 large Radish (cut the end and then thin-medium slice – 2 notches on mandolin)
- Approx. 3 cups (1 bag) of Bean Sprouts
- 3 Snack Packs of Nori (Sesame Flavor Seaweed) – (I used the snack packs because I thought the smaller size would be easier to use than the large sheets of nori, but after execution, I would definitely prefer to use the larger sheets next time. There’s also a chance I’ll use spinach leaves instead because I think they’ll hold up a little better than nori. I just really like the taste of the nori and I worry about the water content of the spinach)
- 1 large Red Onion (halve & thinly slice)
- 1 Pint of Baby Bella Mushrooms (remove stems and slice)
- 2 TSP Tahini
- 4-6 TBSP Vegan Butter
- 6 oz container of your favorite Vegan Cheese Spread (I love cashew cheese, so I used that)
- Cooking Spray (olive oil or avocado oil)
- 2 TSP Salt
- 2 TSP Black Pepper
Instructions for prepping the veggies:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Set vegan cheese spread out on the counter to get to room temp (this way it’s easier to spread when time)
- Get out 3 sheet pans for roasting your veggies. Coat your non-stick pan with cooking spray (I used an olive oil spray on the pans and an avocado oil spray on the veggies – either work)
- While your oven is preheating, it’s the time to use those knife skills! Preparation instructions are notated on the ingredient list. (see pics for cuts)
- Get all your vegetables gathered, rinsed, and dried.
- As you slice each type of veggie, lay them out like dominoes on the sheet pans. I tried to keep veggies that are similar in texture, moisture, and structure together on the same pan. (see pics)
- Spray domino veggies with cooking spray and salt and pepper.
- Put pans in preheated oven. Set your timer for 25 minutes. Check your veggies at that time. You will likely need to reset your timer for 5-10 more minutes until veggies are soft, shrunken and starting to brown.
- Remove your veggies from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Instructions for preparing your filling:
- While your veggies are roasting in the oven, heat vegan butter in a sauté pan on medium heat.
- Add microplane grated garlic and cook on medium heat. The butter should show small bubbles and the garlic should be fragrant and browning. (see pics)
- Remove garlic butter from the heat and immediately stir in 2 TSP of tahini, and a pinch of salt. Put aside to cool down, still stir it every couple minutes (the tahini will thicken the sauce, but it needs to be smooth enough to spread over the veggies.
Instructions for assembly:
- Line up the sheet pans of veggies, the garlic butter sauce, the room temperature cashew cheese, and the nori pieces.
- Dishes – I bought 2 disposable loaf pans. Line the pans with plastic wrap leaving plenty of hang over so that once you build your layers, you can cover the top with the plastic wrap. To note: I had enough veggies to make 2 terrines but could’ve made just 1 – the difference would’ve been a taller loaf with thicker layers, so that’s really up to you.
- After you’ve lined the pan with plastic wrap, line the pan with the nori sheets covering the bottom and all of the sides, saving some back to cover the top once all layers are stacked.
- There are 10-12 vegetables in the recipe, so I just randomly started layering. I grabbed veggies according to texture and color and alternated accordingly. (see pics)
- Half-way through the layering, you’ll want to spread the room temperature cheese. (I spread the cheese over my loaf’s carrot layer – it wasn’t perfect, but because the cheese was room temp it was pretty easy to spread. I also put the softened cheese into a Ziploc bag and made my own piping bag – just turn a Ziploc bag inside out, push out one of the corners, spoon the cheese into the corner of the bag, pull the bag back to right side out and snip the tip of the corner with scissors and pipe. This can help you control where to evenly spread the cheese. (I used the back of a small spoon to spread)
- Continue to layer your veggies. I made the last couple layers bell peppers and mushrooms.
- Drizzle the garlic butter sauce over the last layer (it should drip down into the other layers)
- Cover the bottom of the loaf with nori.
- Then tightly wrap the plastic over the loaf to enclose it. Cover the pan tightly with foil, or if you have a lid for your loaf pan, use that.
- Set the loaf pan in the refrigerator and leave overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve the terrine, use a very sharp knife to cut slices off the loaf. You can serve this dish cold or room temperature. I recommend serving with a wedge of lemon and/or small clump of pickled ginger.
I’m so happy with the outcome of this recipe. I learned a lot and will definitely visit this style of dish again. The applications seem boundless in ingredients and creativity. Take your time, grab a good knife -cutting vegetables can be therapeutic and rewarding. Roasted veggies are the perfect foundation to several amazing dishes!
This dish didn’t really take more effort than say, a lasagna…and it’s a showstopper in its appearance! But mostly, the nutritional value and the clean, full feeling after devouring a piece of this yumminess feels so good! I hope you’ll try it! Remember, use what you have, use what’s in season – play around with it, get inventive and creative and enjoy the experience and the healthful eating. The time, effort and reward are usually worth it – no matter the dish.
Okay, if you’ve got any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! Until the next dish…y’all be safe and eat well!