Layered Garden Torte

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Layers of garden fresh vegetables, herbed cheese and caramelized onions- topped with seasoned panko crumbs and zucchini flower bits. Unlike other tortes, this has no eggs or butter. The exciting flavors of the pure vegetables stand out. Do not be worried that the cheese mixture seems a little salty- it melds beautifully with the vegetables.

Ingredients:

Vegetables:
1 large Vidalia onion, caramelized- see recipe
2 potatoes, sliced thin (skin on)
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 small butternut squash, peeled and sliced thin
1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves, about 1 cup
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced thin (seeds removed)
2 tablespoons olive oil.

Herbed Cheese Seasoning:
1 bunch of fresh parsley, stemmed (approximately 3/4 cup)
8 fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup grated romano cheese
4 ounces of feta cheese
4 ounces of cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Topping:
1 1/2 cups seasoned Panko Crumbs
6 fresh zucchini blossoms- diced small (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Use a food slicer or mandoline for slicing vegetables. Place batches of each vegetable on a large cutting board
or waxed paper, drizzle with olive oil and toss each batch to coat. Set aside.

2. Place all "Herbed Cheese Seasoning" ingredients in a food processor and pulse until just uniform- do not over process! Set aside.

3. Toss all "Topping" ingredients - on waxed paper or in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Assemble the torte:
. In a greased baking dish layer 1/2 of the onions.

Top with potatoes, then sprinkle with about 4 tablespoons of herbed cheese.
. Top with zucchini, then sprinkle with about 4 tablespoons of herbed cheese.
. Top with butternut squash, then sprinkle about 4 tablespoons of herbed cheese.
Top with remaining onions and spinach, sprinkle about 4 tablespoons of herbed cheese.
.Top with tomatoes, the remaining herbed cheese, and finally the         .       "Topping" mixture.
5. Press down on the torte evenly and firmly.
6. Bake at 375ºF for 45 minutes, reduce to 300º F for 10 to 15 minutes more.
Check for doneness with a fork or cake tester.

 

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