Friday, May 13, 2011

Root Vegetable Torte

If you've been following along for the past couple weeks, you've heard me complain about how the veggies in my CSA box don't seem to have gotten the memo that it's practically summer here in Durham. Just like I did months ago, I seem to be getting tons of greens and root veggies. I realize that having access to local produce is a luxury but that doesn't keep me from whining about it. I don't discriminate against winter produce though; towards the end of the summer I also complain about overdosing on tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. You've been warned.

Last summer I came across this wonderful Smitten Kitchen herbed summer squash and potato torte recipe while trying to make a serious dent in our massive squash stash. It wasn't squash I was trying to get rid of this time though, it was turnips. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan. Most people I know eat them smothered in cream, which isn't really my cup of tea, or in a soup. Since I didn't feel like making a hot blended soup (Austin opposes them on principle; he says they look like baby food) I was at a loss. I decided the best thing to do would be to hide them between layers of root veggies I do enjoy -- Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes -- and sprinkle them with almesan, which makes everything better. To my surprise, the turnips taste does come through and that's actually a good thing. Roasting them slowly brings out their subtle sweetness which complements the sweet potatoes and provides some contrast to the savoriness of the Yukon Golds and the almesan.

This recipe requires slicing all the root vegetables uniformly so that they cook evenly. Doing so is orders of magnitude easier if you use a mandoline slicer. If you don't have one, consider this a knife skills refresher. Either way, give this torte a try. We usually eat it for dinner, but I think it would make a fantastic brunch dish.

Root Vegetable Torte
Makes 2 9-inch tortes, or about 8 servings
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte
  • 1 cup almesan
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions or scallions
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled cut into 1/8 inch / 3 mm slices
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled cut into 1/8 inch / 3 mm slices
  • 14 oz / 400 g turnips, peeled cut into 1/8 inch / 3 mm slices
  • About 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil 
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, mix together the almesan, green onions, all purpose flour, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg.  Then, grease 2 9-inch pie dishes with some olive oil. Arrange 1/4 of the sweet potato slices in concentric circles with a little overlap in the bottom one dish. Drizzle the sweet potatoes with 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/8 of the almesan mixture. Repeat the process with 1/2 of the turnips, 1/2 of the potato slices, and 1/4 of the sweet potato slices, making sure to drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some almesan in between each layer and on the top of the torte. Use the same method to put together the second torte.

2.  Cover the tortes with aluminum foil and cook for about 40 minutes. Uncover them and cook for another 20 minutes or until the top layer starts to brown.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment