Summertime in New England means farmers’ markets and lots of wonderful, fresh produce. I love finding new ways to include fresh vegetables in our meals.
A recipe for a vegetable torta in a cookbook called “The Gourmet Potluck” caught my eye, but the original contained 3 cups of bread cubes. Fortunately, I was able to omit the bread, increase the veggies, blend in cream cheese to thicken the eggs, and it came out beautifully.
The high sides of the torta make it an elegant dish and a wonderful addition to a brunch or a backyard barbecue. It can be served warm or cold. Either way, it’s delicious.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 red peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
- 1 12 oz jar marinated red peppers,
- drained and cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups shredded swiss cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F and brush bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with oil. Line bottom with parchment and brush parchment with oil. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, and fresh peppers, if using. Sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs until combined (it’s okay if it’s a little lumpy).
- Beat in cream or half and half. Stir in garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon to drain off liquid, add sautéed vegetables to egg mixture, then add drained marinated peppers, if using. Add shredded cheese. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Spread mixture in prepared pan and set pan on baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours or until top is puffy and golden brown and the center no longer jiggles when shaken. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then run a sharp knife around edges of torta to loosen. Gently remove pan sides.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.