Layered Mediterranean Eggplant and Feta Terrines 12.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Apr 5, 2017

Inspired by an aubergine salad at London’s Ottolenghi takeaway, these terrines serve a crowd with all the sweet, salty, smooth and textural delights of the original. Offer this layered beauty sliced and served on spring greens with a splash of Kalamata Dressing (see related recipe), or with toasted pita chips as a dip.

Carving a terrine can be challenge. Use unscented dental floss or a long, thin and sharp knife, running it under hot water between cuts, to make clean cuts.

You’ll need two mini loaf pans or short ceramic terrines; it's best not to build this in one long terrine, because that makes it tricky to unmold properly.

A blend of goat cheese and cream cheese can be used instead of the feta-yogurt mixture; see the VARIATION, below.

Make Ahead: The molded terrines need to be refrigerated for at least 6 hours, and up to 3 days. Once unmolded, they can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. They do not freeze well.


Servings:
12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes two mini-loaf-pan-size terrines

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound firm, purple eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (see headnote)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (regular or low-fat; see headnote)
  • 1/4 cup roasted white sesame seeds, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds, or more as needed
  • One 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, and sliced into 1/2-inch strips (about 1 generous cup)

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Directions

Heat the oil in a large wide skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes (to flavor and scent the oil). Remove the garlic (discard or reserve for another use) and add the eggplant cubes. Cook, undisturbed, for 6 to 8 minutes, then stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes, so the eggplant has browned evenly.

Stir in the tomato paste, molasses, sumac, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for just a few minutes until the eggplant is thoroughly coated but has not completely broken down. Remove from the heat.

Stir together the cilantro and mint in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk together the feta and yogurt in a separate bowl, until smooth. Spoon the feta mixture into a zip-top bag.

Lightly coat the mini loaf pans with cooking oil spray. Lay a double layer of plastic wrap (two pieces) in one of the pans, tucking it into the corners. Make sure there is sufficient wrap draping over the edges. Repeat to line the second pan.

Now, you're ready to layer the terrine, in this order, as you have the pans side by side: Line the bottom of the pans with the white and black sesame seeds, mixed together. Snip the corner from the zip-top bag and squeeze in an even layer of feta-yogurt mixture into each pan, using half of it; cover your hand with a piece of plastic wrap and gently press each layer into place. Next, divide half the cilantro-mint mixture between them, to make a thin green layer.

Divide half the eggplant mixture between each pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro-mint mixture. Add a single layer of roasted red peppers, then squeeze in the remaining feta-yogurt mixture. Add the final layer of eggplant to each. Fold in the plastic wrap overhang to completely enclose each layered terrine in its own pan, gently pressing down to compact them. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours (and up to 3 days).

To unmold and serve, gently release the terrines using the plastic wrap; working with one pan at a time, peel back the top layer of plastic wrap. Place the serving dish or cutting board over the pan and invert it quickly, giving it a good smack on the counter to help dislodge the contents. Remove the pan, then gently remove the plastic wrap and do any necessary neatening. Sprinkle with a bit more sesame seeds, as needed.

VARIATION: To replace the feta-yogurt mixture, combine 8 ounces room-temperature goat cheese, 4 ounces room-temperature cream cheese and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl; whisk until smooth. Proceed with the layering of the recipe as directed above.

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Recipe Source

From Bring It! columnist Cathy Barrow.

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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