tri color vegetable terrine

Tri-Color Vegetable Terrine

A couple weeks ago, I wanted something to add to a cheese and cracker hors d’oeuvres platter, but not a pricey pate, or salty charcuterie. Something kind of healthy, maybe even veggie-centric, and flavorful but not over-powering.Decades ago, when I lived in Chicago, I used to buy a three-vegetable terrine at Treasure Island in Old Town, which was my absolute favorite grocery store, heaven for foodies and kind of before its time in terms of cool prepared foods and imported ingredients. This was in the 80s, before the ilk of Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.

vegetable terrineSo I headed to Pinterest and found a very close facsimile of that vegetable terrine, with three gorgeous layers of color and a mild flavor that is a nice counter-balance to a selection of sharp cheeses.

This visually tempting creation that actually looks more difficult than it is – preparation will take a number of steps, and it’s time consuming, but it’s simple. I got to break out my brand new Cuisinart, too, so, yay, kitchen bonus.

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly oil a medium glass loaf pan using olive oil. Line the bottom with parchment and oil that lightly as well.

Blanch separately:

3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups peeled, diced carrots
4 cups cauliflower florets

Shock each batch immediately in ice water. This will help retain the color of your vegetables. Dry thoroughly – using a salad spinner is a super help.

Puree each one of the cooked vegetables in a food processor with 1 egg yolk, 2 tbsp cream cheese and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Clean your food processor between each vegetable. Don’t over-process. You want the veggies to be smooth, without lumps, but you don’t want them to be baby food!

puree broccoli for vegetable terrine

Each of your puree veggies should be in separate bowls. Mix in:

Broccoli – 1 tbsp minced fresh chives and a dash of coriander
Carrots – 1 tsp grated fresh nutmeg and a dash of ginger
Cauliflower – 2 tsp lemon zest

Little salt each batch, and grind in a little white peppercorn.

Carefully spoon the broccoli into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the surface and tap your loaf pan on the counter to settle the layer, removing any “bubbles” or “pockets.” Spoon the cauliflower on top of the broccoli layer, carefully pressing it down. Tap the loaf pan again. Finally, spoon the carrot onto the cauliflower layer, smoothing it and pressing down lightly.

Cover with oiled wax paper. Press lightly. The more well-packed the terrine is, the more easily it will turn out of your loaf pan when it is cooked.

Set the loaf pan in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with boiling water, almost to the top.

Set in the oven, on the middle rack, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the wax paper from the top and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more. The top should feel firm and dry.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan. Run a knife carefully around the edge and turn onto a serving platter. Offer with crackers.

This vegetable terrine can be served warm or cold. It keeps well in a covered container in the refrigerator; leftovers make a great vegetable side dish.

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