It’s NOT a torte

“Unproductive” would be the word I would use to describe today. I had no great ambitions for the day so I guess you could consider the day a success if you want to look at it like that. There was one thing, however, that I did want to do today and that was to order a vegetarian cookbook or two. I’ve had an urge lately to try more vegetarian entrees and to explore grains such as lentils and quinoa (yes I know it is actually a seed). In this I have failed. There are many reasons for this. The main one being my amazing inability to make a decision. It can take me 20 mins or more to decide between a blue or yellow shirt. Imagine what all the variables in buying a cookbook could do to me. I think I have decided to at least get Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. However this still leaves me with deciding if I should get another one, if so which one, and where should I get it from. The first site is cheaper, especially if you order two books, but they have an unknown delivery estimate. Any help you have to offer would be appreciated. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have something more to report.

That brings us to dinner tonight. Last time we did a big grocery trip squash was on sale and since I had seen a few squash casseroles that looked good lately I picked some up. It was on sale for $.99/lb. Then a few days ago someone posted a link to a recipe for a Squash and Potato Torte. It looked soooo good that I knew that this would be what I was making with my squash. I read through that recipe and it referenced a recipe from Smitten Kitchen which I also read through. I eventually used Smitten Kitchen’s basic recipe with a few adaptations to make it my own. I told my husband that we would be having a Potato and Squash Torte and he questioned the fact that it would actually be a torte. I assured him that it would. After all that was the name of the recipe wasn’t it? Well tonight after his first serving, which he had declared quite good, he was getting another piece when he turned to look at me and said “By the way, it is not a torte.” So I went to Britannica to see what they had to say. It says that a torte is a rich cake made up of several thin layers. So I guess that the answer is that it is not a torte in content but is a torte in format. Either way we served it with a chopped salad of green bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and tomato with this vinaigrette. Now for the recipe. My changes are in italics.

Squash and Potato Torte
Makes 8 servings

1/4 to 1/2 red onion diced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese I used 1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup cheddar cheese for the top
2 tablespoons all purpose flour I used 3 tbsp
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3oz prosciutto diced

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
12 ounces yellow crookneck squash or regular yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds I used a combination of summer squash and zucchini
6 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. (Deb note: I had only a 9-inch pan around, so what you see in my pictures is slightly thinner.) Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining red onions, cheese, prosciutto, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.

Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. I would add a dash of salt and pepper on top of every squash layer. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.

Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. I found 20mins to be sufficient. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)

Cut each torte into wedges.  serve.

Now for today’s bookkeeping

Breakfast

  • Ed fed at work – no cost

subtotal = $0.00

Lunch

  • 1 Lean Cuisine – $2.50
  • leftovers – no cost
  • 1 peach – $.60
  • salad – $1.50
  • salad dressing $1.50 *original cost and will not be charged again

subtotal = $6.10

Dinner

  • 2 1/4 cup cheese – $2.25
    1 zucchini – $.70
    1summer squash – $1.00
    1/4 onion – $.25
    1 package prosciutto – $3.00
    1 tbsp olive oil – $.10
    2.5 lb potatoes – $1.50
    thyme – $1.50 *original cost and will not be charged again
    3 tbsp flour – $.03
  • salt and pepper – no charge
  • 2 bell pepper – $2.00
    1 clove garlic – $. 10
    2 shallots – $.40
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar – $2.00 *original cost and will not be charged again
    1 tbsp dijon mustard – $.08
    1/2 cup olive oil – $.80

subtotal = $16.21

TOTAL = $22.31

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