Wednesday mornings are marked with much anticipation of New York Times Dining section-  Sam Sifton’s reviews and Mark Bittman’s The Minimalist.  With Farmer’s Markets back in season and Charleston having one of the best, it was the perfect moment to try out Bittman’s Torte.   Bittman uses an 8′ springfoam pan- I use my Le Creuset 2 qt braiser.   Also, no eggplant for me, instead went heavy on the squash and zucchinni.  Like Mark notes, this recipe is a set of loose guidelines, so adjust as you will. 

4 medium zucchini and yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Carmalized onions

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh.

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Brush veggies lightly with half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper Grill vegetables on both sides until soft.

2. Layer in half the zucchini, mushrooms, onions, tomato, garlic and basil, sprinkling each layer with a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat layers until all vegetable are used. Press the top with a spatula or spoon to make the torte as compact as possible. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and bread crumbs, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil.

3. Bake torte in oven until hot throughout and browned on top, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings