ITALIAN VEGETABLE TERRINE WITH BASIL SAUCE or TERRINE DI VERDURE ALLA ITALIANA

Fresh basil

It is really very hot here right now, our lawn consists of a smaller green patch and the rest is completely burnt out, it almost hurts when I walk on it barefoot. I am eternally saving the water I rinse things with to give it to the wilting plants in pots and borders. Watermelon is back on the menu and I force myself to drink lots of water. And August has just begun…
But I thrive on cooking and baking, my kitchen is by far the hottest spot in our house and I tell myself that it is good to sweat, that I get rid of toxins that way but sometimes I have my doubt. So I drink more water.
This vegetable terrine is great to serve cold; there is a bit of work but nothing difficult, the most difficult moment was when I kept on putting the olive kernels in the wrong pile when I prepared to olives to be chopped, so don’t let the length of the recipe scare you!

Italian vegetable terrine

ITALIAN VEGETABLE TERRINE WITH BASIL SAUCE or TERRINA DI VERDURE ALLA ITALIANA
4 servings or more

terrine:
2 large eggplants
12-14 small tomatoes
4-5 small to medium onions
2 big red or yellow bell peppers
1 handful of black olives
oregano
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

sauce:
a big bunch of fresh basil
3-4 tblsp pine nuts
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

– Cut the tomatoes in halves, put them in a oven-proof pan and sprinkle with salt and oregano. Drizzle a little olive oil over.
– Put the peppers in another oven-proof pan and bake them and the tomatoes in a pre-heated oven (175°C/350°F). The tomatoes need about 30 minutes, they should be soft and have dried up but the time obviously depends on their size. Bake the peppers until the skins are blackened, it takes about 30-40 minutes.
– Slice the eggplants thinly lengthwise and cook them in a grill pan or skillet. Brush the pan with olive oil between every batch. Salt the slices.
– Slice the onions and braise in olive oil until soft. Add a little salt and also a little sugar if needed.
– Chop the olives. Clean the peppers of their seeds and cut into large pieces.
– Line a rectangular pan (loaf type) with plastic foil, leaving enough to cover its content later on. Then line the pan with the grilled eggplant slices, leaving about a third hanging over the edges.
– Start with a layer of half of the tomatoes, then sprinkle 1/4 of the chopped olives over and follow up with a layer of 1/4 of the onions.
– Next you put a layer of eggplant slices and press down carefully so that the vegetables get properly ‘packed’.
– Continue with a layer of peppers, then another 1/4 of olives before you put in a layer of the second 1/4 of onions. Follow with another layer of eggplant slices, press down and then repeat these six layers yet another time.
– Fold the overhanging slices over the last layer. Press down and then fold over the plastic foil. Put in the fridge for about 24 hours. If needed you can put something heavy on top of the terrine.
– Run basil leaves, pine nuts, a little salt and olive oil in a blender until smooth and then serve the terrine cut into slices with the sauce.

Italian vegetable terrine

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