Eggplant and Red Pepper Terrine

Another one from the recipe archives, first posted in 2004. Even though my father doesn’t like eggplant in general, he loves this terrine from Jacques Pepin and we’ve made it several times. Once he even insisted in making it during winter, so instead of serving it cold, we baked it and served the whole thing hot, worked great. This eggplant terrine is a perfect dish for summer entertainment – layers of roasted eggplant, Mozzarella cheese, red pepper and parsley, chilled in a terrine form, and covered with a gazpacho-like sauce.

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Eggplant and Red Pepper Terrine Recipe

Use high-quality, soft, fresh Mozzarella (the kind packed in water in the refrigerated section of the grocery store).

Ingredients

Terrine ingredients:

  • 3 large red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 large, firm eggplants (about 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or peanut oil (high smoke-point oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely-packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz of fresh Mozzarella, cut into 1/8-in slices, about 14 slices

Raw tomato sauce:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 ripe tomatoes (1 1/4 lbs), each cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Method

1 Prepare the red peppers. Arrange the red peppers on a broiling pan and place them under a hot broiler so that their upper surfaces are about 1/2 inch from the heat. Broil for 15 minutes, turning occassionally, until the peppers are blistered and black on all sides. (You can alternatively blacken the peppers directly over the open flame of a gas cook-top, holding them and turning them with tongs.) Place them in a brown paper or plastic bag and close the bag. Let the peppers steam in their own residual heat inside the bag for 10 minutes. Then peel them (the skin will slide off) and remove the seeds.

Note that Trader Joe's makes an excellent bottled cooked red pepper that can be used as a shortcut to the above step.

2 Prepare the eggplants. Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot. Cut the eggplants into 1/2-inch slices and lay out flat on a large flat surface such as a baking pan. Brush the slices on both sides with the grapeseed or peanut oil, and sprinkle with salt. Cook the eggplant slices on the grill, covered, for 4 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned and softened. If your grill does not have a lid, make a tentlike lid of aluminum foil and place it over the eggplant as it cooks.

3 Prepare the parsley. While the eggplant is grilling, soften the parsley by blanching it in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds. Remove, cool under cold water, drain.

4 Build the terrine. Line a terrine mold (loaf pan) with plastic wrap. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the bottom of the mold and top it with about a third each of the red pepper pieces, parsley, and cheese. Repeat, beginning and ending with a layer of eggplant, until all the ingredients are used. Cover with plastic wrap and press on the wrap to compact the mixture. Refrigerate.

At this point you can make the terrine in advance and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.

5 Prepare the sauce. Place the garlic and tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth. Push the mixture through a food mill (fitted with a fine screen) over a bowl. Add the remainder of the sauce ingredients. Mix well.

To serve, pour some of the sauce on a large platter and unmold the terrine in the center. Cut it into slices and serve with the remainder of the sauce.

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Adapted from Jacques Pepin's Today's Gourmet II: Light and Healthy Cooking for the '90s.

16 Comments

  1. AJ

    It turned out beautifully!! Good job!

  2. RC

    This turned out great! I used marscapone cheese instead…heavy calories, but a little goes a long way…I also recommend slicing the eggplant as thin as you can get

  3. Sara

    Hi Elise–

    I know you posted this recipe a loooong time ago so hopefully you will see this comment & respond…

    I was planning on making this for my upcoming graduation party because it can be prepared in advance, doesn’t need to be served hot, & it looks beautiful & tasty! I was just wondering about how many people do you think this would serve as a side dish?

    Hard to say, maybe 8 to 10? ~Elise

  4. Elizabeth

    So if you do this hot, how?

    Assemble, put in a 350°F oven until hot through, 20-30 minutes. Put the sauce in a saucepan and cook for 10 minutes or longer. ~Elise

  5. Elise

    This looks delicious. However I am wondering if you can broil the eggplants as well instead of grilling them? I do not grill that often. Thanks.

    Sure, broiling will work. ~Elise

  6. Christina

    “At this point you can make the terrine in advance and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.”

    My question is, how far ahead could the terrine be made and then just refrigerated?

    Thanks.

    Good question. I would say a day or two. ~Elise

  7. Brian

    Made this last night on the grill. Not a parsley fan, changed to fresh basil – much better! Did it hot, baked it covered in foil on the grill for 10 min – was great, little clean up, no hot kitchen. Suggest just salting the Mozz a little, it needs it. Sauce didn’t need a food mill, just blender. Added basil to that as well, heated in saucepan for 5 min. Very good as well, don’t think you need the vinegar though. Try it, it’s great!

  8. Christina

    I tried this and it was delicious. I’m going to make it again, this time for a potluck with foodies up here in Healdsburg.

    My raw tomato sauce tasted great but was waaay too watery (definitely not thick as in your photo) so next time I’m going to seed the tomatoes (removing excess liquid), maybe use a couple small romas in the mix since they’re meatier. I don’t have a fine screen for my food mill but it removed the skins and garlic solids nicely anyway.

    I also will drain and wipe-off the roasted red peppers as they seemed to add too much liquid to the terrine.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Beth

    Yum. This was fantastic. I slightly burned the eggplant on the grill but it was still fantastic. Next time I will watch it more closely. I used basil instead of parsley because I have a lot of it in my garden. Very nice summer dish.

  10. Michele

    This was so delicious! We served it as a side dish to spaghetti, which was a nice way to lighten up a bowl of pasta in the summer. Thanks for a wonderful recipe I can’t wait to make again.

  11. Becky

    I think both the terrine and the sauce are even better the second day after the flavors meld together some. Made the sauce with just canned roasted tomatoes, fresh chopped garlic and a little vinegar and olive oil all pureed in the blender and then heated low on the stove for about ten minutes. No need for the food mill. Substitued basil for the parsley and it was great. Also good when served with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

  12. Vanessa

    Just forwarded this recipe to my mom. As I was doing so, I noticed the ‘Friends of Maddie’ badge and I smiled. A co-worker of mine is good friends with Maddies’s mom from college. I visit Heather’s blog monthly, sometimes weekly. Thanks for supporting.

  13. Sébastien

    I’ve made this recipe yesterday for a vegetarian friend and it was delicious, we both loved it ! Thanks !

  14. Jake H

    A key additional step: before you put it in the fridge, push it down with your hands. This way it will hold together better.

    I made this twice, the first time it didn’t hold and the second time it did. Another tip: large slices of eggplant are better. Either way, its okay to overlap 2 pieces of eggplant in a single layer (even though its not like that in the photo)

  15. Renee

    I used marscapone cheese and it was AMAZING!

  16. hoohoo

    I think if I fry the eggplant & red pepper instead of broil or grill it… it’s gonna taste better, I know though it’s not healthy :(
    I’m sure it taste so good with pasta, Thank you so much for the recipe you reminde me of my home country.

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