Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eggplant Torta

I bought this cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison years ago when we were living in Boston. I have to confess I don't use it often because the recipes require a certain level of knowledge about seasonality of vegetables and access to high quality ingredients. The recipes are very minimalist, designed to bring out the flavors of each ingredient, which is great if one knows how to pick the best foodstuffs in the store (a skill I'm still working on). It's one of two cookbooks that sits on my shelf and doesn't get much use, not because it's not excellent, but because I'm still trying to figure out how to balance vegetarian meals.

Anyway, this is a recipe that I had in mind when I first started this blog, but I've never posted it because it's so long, which is why it's scanned. It's beautiful, delicious, and will satisfy both vegetarian and meat-eaters. But, it's time consuming (as you can see by the length of the recipe).

I made it last night for dinner when the swiss chard I planted in October decided to finally grow in May and was getting close to bolting (ok, it kind of did bolt--a little bitter than I cared for). And, I realized that I had about 1/2 of all the primary ingredients: 1/2 a large bunch of chard, and 1 eggplant (this recipe needs about 2 big ones). So, I halved those, but everything else I kept the same (except the saffron, I've never used it) and just made one layer of each mixture. Still tasty and much easier.

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