With summer just getting going here, some of these veggies are still not quite ready in our local markets, but I know a lot of you are probably already seeing delicious summer produce! And I’m antsy, so I just get what I need at the grocery store in order to get an early taste of summer. This torta is packed with veggies, literally packed. It’s so packed that every time I make it I have my doubts it will actually fit in the pan. (It does. Barely.)
It’s a delicious mixture of veggies, eggs and cheese, which is pretty much my perfect meal. It makes 8 big slices and the torta is so tall that they’re really quite filling.
My only warning is to start it early because it has to bake for a while. In our household, it’s best left for a weekend evening.
Don’t these guys just scream summer?
Sometimes I use frozen hashbrowns, sometimes I don’t. It sort of depends on how much filler I want on a given day.
Have you guys used this stuff? Frozen garlic cubes! It’s so easy and quick. Normally I’m all about the “real” thing, but in the case of garlic, this stuff wins me over. Whenever I cut up real garlic my hands smell like garlic for days afterward, no matter how much hand washing I do. This keeps my hands free of garlic-smell and it’s a super time saver!
The original recipe called for beating the cream cheese until smooth and incorporating it into the egg mixture. I a) am too lazy to do that and b) really love finding little chunks of delicious creamy cheese in the torta and c) also really love finding slightly crisped little chunks of creamy cheese on the top of the torta. Basically, I just really love little lumps of cheese.
You’ll need a big pan to saute all those delicious vegetables…
summer veggie torta
modified from here
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 red peppers (or 1 red, 1 yellow), sliced into 1/4 inch strips OR 1 12 oz jar marinated red peppers, drained well and cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
- 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, optional
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz cream cheese, cubed
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 oz. grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F and brush or spray bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with oil. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, zucchini, fresh peppers (if using) and hash browns (if using). Saute until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes, adding garlic near the end to avoid burning it.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with half and half. Stir in basil and salt. Drain off as much liquid from the sauteed veggies as possible, then add to egg mixture. Add drained marinated peppers, if using those instead of fresh ones. Stir to combine. Gently fold in cubes of cream cheese.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours or until top is puffy and golden brown and the center no longer jiggles when shaken. (This takes slightly longer in my sad little oven. Be patient.) Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then run a sharp knife around edges to loosen. Gently remove pan sides. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. (It is easier to slice the torta the longer it cools.)