By Teri Gentes
This fabulous “whole food” main course comes together quickly, shortcuts are an option and it can be prepped in advance.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, quality carbs, and fibre – it is a perfect protein meal that promotes alkalinity. Make it your own by choosing your favourite veggies. If you’re in a pinch, buy a jar of roasted peppers, rinsing well to remove the vinegary taste.
- 1 – 180 to 200 ml container of deli-bought dairy-free fresh basil pesto (make your own following any basic pesto recipe and omitting the cheese or substituting it with nutritional yeast)
- 1 – 180 to 200 ml container of deli-bought dairy-free sun-dried tomato pesto
- 2 roasted red/yellow peppers, seeded and cut into eight pieces to fit over eggplant and mushrooms
- 1 medium to large eggplant, sliced into 16½ inch thick slices. Roast until softened
- 8 Portobello mushrooms – approximately three inches in diameter, roasted and pressed to flatten slightly
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced and pan grilled until soft and caramelized. Divide into eight portions.
- 4 oz Shiitake mushrooms, slivered and sautéed with onions (contains all eight essential amino acids!)
- 1 small handful of fresh arugula, washed well, cut into fine slivers. Divide into eight portions.
- 4 cups of organic mesclun baby greens, washed
- Fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes, to garnish
- Maison Orphee Organic Canola Olive oil blend, approximately 1 tsp for cooking onions
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
If desired – Mimic Crème (almond and cashew blend) for drizzling over tortes
Note: Prepare all the above ingredients prior to assembling the tortes. To roast peppers, broil to char skin, cool covered, peel, and seed. For the Portobello mushrooms and eggplant, roast at 425°F for eight to 12 minutes or until softened.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Makes 8 tortes – 4 servings
- Prepare and assemble ingredients as indicated above. Lightly season eggplant and Portobello mushrooms with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Heat a cast iron pan, add the canola olive oil, and cook the onions beginning with high heat, then reducing to medium low. Add garlic and shiitake mushrooms as onions begin to brown. Cook until fragrant and caramelized. Set aside.
- On a large baking sheet, set out eight rounds of eggplant. Spread each with 1 tsp basil pesto and continue to layer each with onion mixture, pepper, eggplant,1 tsp sun dried tomato pesto, a sprinkle of arugula, another pepper slice etc. Top with Portobello, a drizzle of Mimic crème (if using), and a final dollop of basil pesto.
- Season each torte with a grinding of sea salt and fresh black pepper if desired.
- Bake for 10–15 minutes at 375°F until heated thoroughly.
To serve: Scatter salad greens over each of the plates. Place two tortes on each plate and garnish with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Serve with any remaining pesto thinned with a little olive oil or Mimic crème. A tasty side dish is puréed parsnips (prepare just as you would mashed potatoes).