From Executive Chef John Kuropatwa
'Stolen with permission' from Executive Chef John Kuropatwa of Spigola Ristorante in New Jersey this colorful appetizer will be a feast for your eyes as well as your taste buds!
The restaurant is named after the type of European sea bass that is referred to in Northern Italy as ‘branzino’ – spigola. Spigola Ristorante Vino e Cucina can be found in Hamilton Township which is part of Mercer County, New Jersey. It features a full menu of traditional and modern Italian cuisine, a dessert menu with such delights as Homemade Cannolis and Key Lime Mousse and a martini list featuring a Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini, a Coconut Cosmo and The Biscotini, to name but a few – with their extensive wine list and steak and seafood specialties, there’s something for everyone here.
The cosmopolitan dining room features a Chef’s Table where a special menu is created and presented by Chef John himself. Chef John is a man on a mission, he wants everyone to bring more color onto their plates and into their diets – and this vegetable terrine is the perfect way to start! He says, “When you sit down to eat, you don’t usually think a lot about the colors on your plate, yet they are a big part of what makes the dish nutritious and appealing to the eye. It adds to the healthfulness of a meal, and it is also great for presentation.”
About the chef: when John Kuropatwa was only 14 years old, his culinary career began as he started helping his mother in the bakery where she worked. Inspired by his mother’s and grandmother’s authentic cooking of Polish dinners, Kuropatwa experienced a passion that today burns stronger than ever. His current favorite dishes to prepare embrace anything that contains seafood and spices.
Chef Kuropatwa has over 20 years of experience in the culinary field, with more than 15 of it as an Executive Chef. He has worked at well-known restaurants such as Pelican Fish Company, Scotland Run Golf Club, and Villa Tiella Restaurant and Café Nola.
Although he spends much of his time at work, he loves spending time with his wife and three children. He enjoys playing golf, spending time at the beach and preparing food using fresh ingredients right from the family garden.
Chef's note: this recipe should be prepared a day in advance as it needs to be refrigerated overnight.
Deer Path Pavilion
3817 Crosswicks-Hamilton Square Road
Layered Vegetable Terrine is served at Spigola for $10 as an appetizer and $12 as a lunch item.
This recipe makes 4 restaurant servings.
Layered Vegetable Terrine Ingredients:
1 Sicilian eggplant
1 yellow squash
1 green zucchini
1 beefsteak tomato
2 Portabella mushrooms
2 red bell peppers – cleaned and roasted
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions:
Rinse and dry all the vegetables well.
Clean the mushrooms by brushing off any debris.
Slice the zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tomato into ¼ inch thick slices lengthwise.
Lightly brush the vegetables and portabella mushrooms with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Place on a hot grill and cook 2 minutes per side, until wilted and grill marks have appeared.
Line a terrine or loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough to come up and over the sides of the pan.
Position the pan so that the long side is closest to you and parallel to the edge of the table you are working on.
Begin layering the vegetables in the pan, using the zucchini and yellow squash first.
Alternate the zucchini and squash strips in the pan so that the long edge of the squash is perpendicular to the long edge of the mold.
The strip should come up and over the sides, and have an equal overhang on both sides.
Once the bottom of the terrine is covered with squash, slice the portabella mushrooms and place a layer of them on top of the zucchini.
Continue layering the vegetables using tomato, then ½ the mozzarella cheese, then eggplant, and finally the roasted peppers. Repeat the layering process with the vegetables until you reach the top of the terrine, except this time place the zucchini lengthwise in the pan, so they do not overhang.
When finished, take the overhanging zucchini strips and fold them over the top of the terrine so that they enclose all of the vegetables.
Fold the plastic wrap over as well, and place a weight, such as a brick, on top of the mold to press it down.
Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove the terrine from the mold by removing the weight and opening the plastic wrap.
Flip the pan over onto a cutting board or flat surface and slice width wise into 1 -2 inch slices.
Arrange slices on a plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.