Green Terrine with Zesty Pesto

Impress your friends and family at your next holiday party with this spicy vegetarian version of the popular French dish, terrine. This colorfully layered creation is nutrient-rich, with a variety of textures and flavors! The zesty pesto provides a creamy source of heat to the lightly seasoned vegetables. This dish is perfect for the intermediate chef looking to experiment with something new—and crank dinner up a notch!
Yields 1 loaf

For Zesty Pesto:

2 cups pine nuts
2 cups basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
Juice of 1–11⁄2 lemons
1 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4–1⁄2 cup olive oil
For Green Terrine:

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1⁄4″ slices
2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1⁄4″ slices
2 large portobello mushroom caps
1⁄2 pound asparagus
2 shallots, diced
2 pounds spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1⁄4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

  1. For Zesty Pesto: Combine all ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor. Blend together until well chopped. Purée, and add olive oil in small batches until the mixture starts to liquefy. Add olive oil until desired consistency is reached. This should make about 2–21⁄2 cups of pesto.
  2. For Green Terrine: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. With a marinade brush, spread mixture evenly over the sliced eggplant, zucchini, mushroom caps, and asparagus. In a single layer, line vegetables on two foil-lined baking sheets. Bake vegetables for 30–45 minutes, turning occasionally, until softened. Remove from heat to cool.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced shallots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add spinach to pan and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes or less, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Mix until blended.
  5. Line a 9″ × 5″ meatloaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough over the edges to cover the top of the terrine. Pack about 2⁄3 of the spinach/shallot mixture into the bottom and sides of the loaf pan. Line the sliced eggplant as the first layer on top of the spinach, follow with a thin layer of pesto and a scoop of the diced tomato mixture, and spread out. Add a layer of zucchini slices, followed by another thin layer of the pesto and diced tomatoes. Add a layer of asparagus, followed by more pesto and diced tomatoes. Layer the mushroom caps, topped with a thin layer of pesto and diced tomato mixture. Lastly, add the final layer of zucchini and top with the rest of the spinach to cover the top completely.
  6. Once all the vegetables are snugly pressed into the loaf pan, cover with the extra plastic wrap. This loaf should be as tight as possible, so consider placing a heavy object on top to weigh the loaf down and keep it compact. Refrigerate overnight with a heavy object on top. Remove and pull back top layer of plastic wrap carefully. Invert loaf onto a large platter, and carefully pull off rest of the plastic wrap. Cut into 1″ slices and serve cold.