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Georgia Pecan Vegetable Torte with Cheddar

Georgia Pecan Vegetable Torte with CheddarA meatless main-course dish, this torte is a mosaic of vegetable flavors and colors, enriched with layers of cheese and pecan. Serve it warm or at room temperature with a simple green salad.

Recipe Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped pecans - divided use
1 large sweet potato (approximately 12 ounces)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced (not separated into rings)
2 (10-ounces each) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese flavored with chives (about 1 1/2 cups) - divided use
2 medium (5-ounces each) yellow squash
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red pepper, drained, sliced and cleaned

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Arrange the sweet potato in overlapping layers in bottom of pan, sprinkling lightly with salt and ground black pepper. Cover pan with foil and bake 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and sauté onion until tender; set aside. Drain the spinach and squeeze in a colander to remove excess liquid. Combine spinach, 1 cup cheese, salt and ground black pepper to taste and mix well; set aside.
  4. Uncover pan and spread spinach mixture evenly on top of sweet potato layer; sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans.
  5. Slice the yellow squash crosswise into very thin (about 1/8-inch thick) rounds and layer in pan alternating with the onion.
  6. Top with 1/4 cup pecans and 1/4 cup cheese, the basil, salt and ground black pepper. Arrange red pepper pieces in a single layer on top.
  7. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet and press down on torte with the back of a metal spatula to squeeze out any remaining excess liquid. Drain the liquid, brush the red pepper layer lightly with oil and bake torte on top of baking sheet 20 minutes.  
  8. Sprinkle torte with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and pecans and bake 6 to 8 minutes longer or until cheese melts and pecans are lightly toasted.
  9. Cool at least 15 minutes.
  10. To serve, run a thin knife around the inside edge of pan to loosen torte. Remove sides of pan and cut into wedges to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/6 of recipe): Calories: 330; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 30mg; Total Carbs: 30g; Fiber: 7g; Protein: 13g; Sodium: 266mg.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of Georgia Pecan Commission.