I realize that August is gone, but by the looks of the Farmer's market today it's not too late to indulge in some Augustian* delicacies. This torte showcases the flavors of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes by simply roasting them and jazzing them up with some basil, a lot of garlic and a sprinkle of parmiggiano. There's nothing not to like as the flavors of the sunkissed vegetables meld together, while maintaining their own distinct presence. So I guess I am just pretty pumped that I got to enjoy the flavors of August this year, and I have a feeling there will be many new and exciting flavors to come (yes, that's dorky metaphor of about new life experience. Forgive me). In the meantime, I'm just taking it easy and kicking back with a slice of torte. Doesn't sound half-bad, eh?
Summer Vegetable Torte
(adapted from Mark Bittman at The New York Times)
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high, and the rack about 4 inches from flame. Brush eggplant and zucchini half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Roast or grill vegetables on both sides until soft.
2. Coat bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan with oil. Mix the garlic and basil into the remaining olive oil. Build a layer of eggplant, then a second layer of zucchini, then a layer of tomatoes, pour a third of the olive oil mixture over this. Repeat until you have used all the vegetables, if any remain place them decoratively on top. Pour any remaining oil mixture over the top and then sprinkle evenly with the parmiggiano.
3. Bake torte in oven until hot throughout and browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing outer ring of pan, then let cool for another 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.