This month the Accidental Locavore and other Charcutepalooza participants gave up the sausage stuffing for a more refined pastime, making terrines. Our mission was to make them beautiful as well as delicious. Since I had a houseful of vegetarians coming for the weekend, as well as a box full of gorgeous vegetables, I decided to give Michael Ruhlman’s grilled vegetable terrine a shot.
In return for some recipes for cherry tomatoes, my farmer was cool enough to let me pick up my farm box early in the morning, after I had asked for an “advance” of a couple of zucchini and a squash. Someone who knows me well had given me the perfect Le Creuset terrine a while ago so I was set.
It’s a pretty easy recipe and great for this time of year when everything is at its peak. There’s a lot of prep work, but it’s mostly slicing and grilling and then assembly. The hint about wetting the terrine before you line it with Saran wrap is almost worth the cost of the book and thank you Mrs. Wheelbarrow for pointing that out.
With any terrine, a little pre-planning is important, especially in this case when style points count. Since I had both green and purple basil, an alternating leaf pattern on the top (or the bottom as you’re layering) would be a good jumping-off point. There were no red Roma tomatoes at the Greenmarket, nor red peppers, so it turned out to be a medley of greens, purples and yellows. I added some chopped thyme to the goat cheese layer but otherwise played it pretty straight.
The final result? A lovely if a bit monochromatic terrine. The verdict? Delicious! Everyone had seconds and there was barely anything leftover. The leftovers were the filling of choice for omelets the next morning (and highly praised). My thoughts? For the next one, longer eggplants and I would divide up the goat cheese instead of having one thick layer. The oven roasted/dried tomatoes seemed a little tough, I might just grill them with everything else. And for some crazy reason, I kept expecting artichoke hearts to show up, so in the future they will. The thyme and basil were good, but there could have been more of it and maybe a little garlic?