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This vegetarian torte would make a super brunch menu item or is great for a light supper, or perhaps my favorite, inspiring envy in the corporate lunch room.
I made this from butternut squash from the 2012 harvest, canned Swiss chard, garlic conserva as well as some fresh ingredients. It’s pretty to look at and delicious!
You can make this in a square casserole dish but a 9” spring form pan makes for a more dramatic presentation and you don’t have to sacrifice the first piece to the knife.
1 lb (500 g) onions, thinly sliced. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife and steady hand
1 tablespoon (15 ml) + 1 teaspoon (5 ml) oil, divided
1 butternut squash, top portion only, peeled and thinly sliced. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife and steady hand
2 large potatoes washed peeled and thinly sliced. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife and steady hand.
1 lb (500 g) ricotta cheese
5 ounces (150 g) cooked drained and chopped Swiss chard – substitute spinach
2 – 3 cloves of roasted garlic or garlic conserva
6 ounces (180 g) button mushrooms roughly chopped
6 stalks asparagus blossom end only
3 small (1’ – 2.5 cm diameter) tomatoes halved
Salt + Pepper
3 ounces (90 g) hard cheese, grated, Parmesan, Romano, or Asagio
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dried basil
- Line the bottom of a 9” spring form pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, heat until hot.
- Add onions, reduce heat to medium low, and cook very slowly – stir often until onions are very soft and caramelized. This can take up to an hour. When finished remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 egg, roasted garlic, and chopped spinach, mix well with a fork. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking, set aside.
- Using the same pan that you cooked the onions, add 1 teaspoon of oil over medium high heat.
- Add mushrooms to the pan, reduce heat to medium cook, stirring often and cook until lightly browned – about 7-10 minutes. Add to onions.
- Preheat oven to 350*F (180*C or Gas Mark 4)
- Place a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan in the oven.
Assemble the Torte
- Layer butternut squash slices in the bottom of the pan, you can cut some of the slices to fill in any gaps.
- Add ricotta-chard mixture, smooth evenly over squash slices.
- Layer potato slices over the ricotta mixture.
- Spread onion-mushroom mixture over the potato layer.
- Add another layer of butternut squash on top of onion-mushroom mixture.
- Arrange tomatoes and asparagus on the top in a star pattern. Alternate spear and tomato halves.
- Sprinkle oregano and basil over the top.
- Cover with foil and place on sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Carefully remove from oven, remove the foil, top with grated cheese and return, uncovered to oven.
- Bake another 30- 40 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
This is an elegant vegetable dish, that is sure to please you, you family or guests!