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This is one of those dishes that has a bunch of steps.  But if you have the time and want to really Sitara's Vegetable Torteimpress your guests or family, this is the dish that wows them all.  


  And it's unbelievably tasty to boot!!













Recipe By     : Sitara
Serving Size  : 8    Preparation Time :3:20
Categories    :
                Cheese          Eggs
                Italian       Luncheon
                Main Dishes    Vegetarian

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
  --------      ------------       --------------------------------
   2             large            onions -- halved and sliced
   1             clove           garlic -- chopped
  1/3          cup              olive oil
  1/2      #10 can          diced tomatoes in juice
   1         tablespoon    fresh sage -- finely chopped
   1 1/2  teaspoons     fresh thyme -- finely chopped
   2            large           eggplant -- sliced into rounds
   4            large           zucchini -- sliced lengthwise
   4            large           red bell pepper -- quartered
   3       tablespoons   all-purpose flour
   2       tablespoons    butter
   1            pint              milk, 2% lowfat
   3           large            egg -- beaten
   6          ounces        grated parmesan cheese
   1           pint              ricotta cheese, part skim milk

For The Sauce:
In heavy skillet cook onion in oil till soft and golden, add garlic and cook till liquid has evaporated.  Add tomatoes, sage and thyme and simmer till  thick.  Season with salt and pepper and cool.

For the Torte:
Preheat oven to 450˚F.    Cut eggplant in to 1/3 inch thick rounds and bake on well oiled cookie sheet till lightly brown and tender. Cool and drain.  Cut zucchini lengthwise and roast in same manner till golden.  Quarter red bell peppers and roast in same manner.  Cool.

In a heavy saucepan make a roux of butter and flour and whisk in milk.
Cool 5 minutes and whisk in cheese, eggs, salt and pepper.

Lightly oil baking dish or springform pan. Arrange half of eggplant in even layer, overlapping the edges and up the sides to make a bottom crust.  Pour about 1/3 of the custard over it.  Place zucchini in custard and season with salt and pepper, then red peppers.  Repeat starting with eggplant and ending with custard.  Sprinkle top with grated parmesan cheese.

Bake at 450˚ till custard is puffed and golden brown..at least 35 minutes.  Let torte stand at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ladle a pool of warm tomato sauce on the plate, place a slice of the torte on the tomato sauce.  Or serve the sauce on the side for guests to choose how much they would like.
Garnish with fresh sprig of thyme or sage leaves.

Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.
A Chardonnay or Fume Blanc completes the meal.