Layered Cheese and Vegetable Pie

This rustic and hearty vegetable pie will impress any vegetarian at your table. Layered with roasted red pepper, eggplant, zucchini and Emmental cheese it's packed with flavour and colour. Change it up with fresh seasonal vegetables of your choice.

Serve this elegant savoury pie with a simple green salad.


INGREDIENTS

Pastry Dough
2 1/3 cups flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup water

Cheese and Vegetable Filling
3 medium potatoes, sliced lengthwise
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
3 small eggplants, sliced lengthwise
Olive oil, for cooking eggplant
2 roasted red peppers, cut into slices
7 ounces Emmental cheese, sliced
About 2 cups baby spinach
5 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
6 to 8 basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 egg white, beaten for egg wash
Flour, for rolling out pastry dough


PREPARATION

Pastry Dough
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and water. Knead dough until just comes together and forms a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cheese and Vegetable Filling
In a sauté pan, bring water to a boil and cook the zucchini and the potatoes until they are tender but still firm enough to hold their shape. Set aside.

Heat 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil in a large fry pan, over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add a few slices of eggplant, don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook eggplant in batches as needed, adding more oil if pan is dry. Fry eggplant until tender and golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil. Set aside.

Preheated oven at 375 degrees F.

To assemble the pie: Flour work surface and rolling pin with a little flour. Divide dough into 1/3 and 2/3 pieces, for the top and bottom of pie, respectively. Roll bottom pastry about ¼-inch thick. Fit bottom pastry into 9-inch spring form pan, so pastry hangs over the sides of the pan by about 1-inch. Layer in half of the vegetables (potato, eggplant, zucchini, red peppers and spinach), followed by half the Emmental cheese and half the basil and thyme. Repeat layers to use up remaining vegetables, cheese and herbs.

Roll top pastry to ¼-inch thickness and place over the pie. Fold top and bottom pastry edges together by folding inward to seal pie.

Brush the top pastry of the pie evenly with beaten egg white. Poke a few holes on top of pie to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake pie until pastry is golden brown and vegetables are tender, about 50 minutes. Cut in wedges and serve warm.



Yield: 6 to 8 servings.