Monday, May 4, 2009

Colorful Carrot and Spinach Loaf

Have you ever bought those vegetable pates and been disappointed to discover how vile they are? They're really an insipid excuse for food and I refuse to buy them again. This is quite the contrary, I assure you. This recipe has such a sweet and buttery flavor, you'll be making this not only when your vegetarian friends are on the guest list, but for everyone who loves good food.

I made this for a reception yesterday and the plate was practically licked clean. The recipe comes from my friend Dede, one of "le matte," my Italian chit-chat group. It's originally a Wolfgang Puck recipe from his book "Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen." I changed it to use frozen spinach instead of fresh and used Jarlsberg cheese instead of the Gruyere, since that's what I had on hand.

It can be served warm or at room temperature, but if you try to serve it right out of the oven, it won't hold together very well. Give it at least 15 minutes to rest.

Start out by buttering a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Then line the pan with aluminum foil and butter the aluminum foil.

Then slice 2 pounds of carrots, using a knife or a mandoline. (Be careful of fingers if you're using a mandoline. Mine fell prey - again - to the sharp blade and I have the bloody band-aids and the throbbing thumb to prove it.)

Here's the entire recipe:

Carrot Loaf

1 stick plus 1 T. unsalted butter
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices or little bits
1/4 pound mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 box frozen spinach, thawed (original recipe calls for 1 pound fresh spinach)
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups cheese (Gruyere, Swiss, or whatever you've got on hand. I used Jarlsberg.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and saute' slowly until tender, about 25 minutes. Chop coarsely and remove to a bowl.
2. Increase heat to high and melt 1 T. of butter. Add the mushrooms and saute' for a couple of minutes. Chop coarsely and add to carrots. Set aside.
3. Melt 1/2 stick of butter over medium high heat in a skillet, add the spinach and saute a couple of minutes. Chop coarsely and place in a separate bowl.
4. Beat together the eggs, cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add about 2/3rds of the egg mixture to the carrot mixture and mix well. Add the remaining egg mixture to the spinach and mix well.
5. Spread half the carrot mixture over the bottom of the pan, cover with the spinach mixture and top with the remaining carrot mixture.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the loaf pan loosely with foil and place in a roasting pan. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
7. Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a knife plunged into the center comes out clean.
8. Uncover, invert the loaf onto a serving platter and remove foil.


  1. what an excellent loaf-and I agree with you on those jellied veggie things...

    my word verification is "eyebam"

    how appropriate

  2. Like the colors, it sounds great, heavy on the veggies and lighter on the eggs. Love it. Would be fun to try with a variety of veggies.

  3. Linda, this terrine not only looks increadibly beautiful (I can see how it'd quickly become the centre of attention at a finger-food table!) but it sounds so delicious. I got some really sweet carrots this weekend, and I'm thinking they'll shine in the recipe. Thanks you for sharing it :)

  4. So beautiful and colorful. Very pleasing to the eyes, and am sure delicious too!

  5. Yum! and pretty too.

  6. This looks like a wonderful recipe to try for some of friends who prefer veggie dishes. My daughters friend loves veggies and just had a baby and I was looking for an interesting recipe to make to bring to her. I can't wait to make this for her. Thanks for sharing.

  7. ouch! did your mandoline not come with a safety attachment? mine did, but sometimes I am lazy, so I also have throbbing fingertips as well :(

    but beautiful loaf!

  8. Ouch! I hope your fingers are ok Linda, be careful!
    This is such a great idea perfect for the spring and summer months.
    Do you think Fontina would work?

  9. It's pretty, substantial, and vegetarian. This is fantastic Linda!

  10. It looks awesome. A great way to get your veggies in.

  11. I am loving how vibrant the colors are. I could easily get used to eating this.

  12. Love your loaf...very colorful and lots of great nutrients in it. Sounds really good.

  13. Any suggestions what to substitute for the mushrooms? I was thinking zucchini (maybe a bit sweet) or eggplant (maybe a bit spicy)?

    Maybe something like pinenuts or almonds (not the same thing, but a different that might work)?

    Mostly asking for tried suggestions, as I have a couple of new little loaf pans that might work if I manage to decrease the proportions by what I figure out they need to be reduced. And so even ruined experiments aren't much of a waste...

    "unpantli" - what kind of a control word is that? Italian - English - ???

  14. I love a good vegetable pate and they are very hard to find. Looks tasty and pretty.

  15. I've cut myself too with that darn mandoline. I always say to myself "be careful, go slow" but I've gotten cuts anyway.

    I never would have thought to make something like this in a million years, but I love the idea, and especially when having company!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  16. I never think to make things like this! It's pretty! xox

  17. I love the colours here...I'm tempted to play with these flavours.

  18. This looks so pretty! I'd love to make this for Thanksgiving dinner.

    "Ouch" on the mandolin wound! I hope you are healing fast.