I have always been fascinated by the many claims that a vegan/ macrobiotic/ veg-aquarian lifestyle boast.  Despite having grown up in a thoroughly meat-and-three-veg household, I try to give my body a break from meat and other hard-to-digest foods from time to time.  Did you know that humans actually started out their existence as herbivores?

Cue ‘meaty veg’.  Aubergine (eggplant), mushrooms, courgette (zucchini), pumpkin… all those deceptively nutritious vegetables that leave you as satisfied as a carnivore in a rib joint – minus the heart attack.

These colourful creations are a final hurrah to the last days of Summer here in Sydney, as well as my contribution to this fortnight’s Cookbook Challenge.  The delicate, vegan terrines can easily be made ahead of time and would be perfect for a summery picnic or as a Sunday lunch entrée.  More than just a pretty face, this individual terrine is incredibly satisfying. The recipe is from a dear friend of mine in London, Patzi.

Her book Food Combining (Eating for Health) is full of really vibrant recipes based around the Hay System, which promotes alkaline-forming foods (vegetables, fruits, herbs) and aids the digestion of protein and carbs.

However tasty this terrine, I have much more to thank Patzi for than just her wonderful recipe.  When I moved to London, enthusiastic and fresh-faced, I hadn’t the slightest idea of what I was getting myself into.  To cut a very long story short, four weeks after arriving I found myself bewildered and at the end of my tether – I felt a bit like Pinocchio as he finds out he’s going to be turned into a donkey on Pleasure Island.

With no one to turn to, someone upstairs must have taken pity on the panicky eighteen-year-old Katie.  Patzi came to the rescue out of the blue and, much like the Blue Fairy, magicked away all my problems.  She runs Patrizia Diemling Catering in London and has cooked for countless rock stars, politicians and celebrities.  I learned so much from Patzi and her husband Jim, and will always remember them for the kindness they showed me.

Cheers Patzi and Jim, I hope you’re enjoying the first days of Spring in Britain.

individual aubergine, courgette and spinach terrines

serves 4

  • 45mL (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red pepper/ capsicum, stem cut off and seeds removed
  • 16-20 small heirloom or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large aubergine/ eggplant
  • 2 courgettes/ zucchini
  • leaves from 1 sprig of thyme

for the filling

  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced

for the spinach

  • 15g (1/2 oz/ 1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  • 275g (10 oz) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

to serve

  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Preheat the oven to 190C.  Line the base and sides of four 6cm (2 1/2 “) muffin rings (or four cavities in a muffin tray) with cling film.
  • Place the red pepper and small tomatoes in a tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the olive oil.  Place into the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly charred.
  • Slice the aubergine into four equal-sized rounds.  Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines on both sides until brown.  Place the aubergines on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Heat half of the remaining oil (1/2 tbsp) in the same frying pan and fry the courgettes for 2 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.

the filling

  • Place the tomatoes and the rest of the oil in the same frying pan and cook over a medium-high heat until the juices have evaporated and the mix thickens (can take up to 20 minutes).
  • Add the basil and season with salt and pepper.

the spinach

  • Cook the spinach and garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan, allowing all the water to evaporate.
  • Drain, add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

to assemble

  • Line the base of the muffin rings with the spinach leaves (about 1cm thick), making sure the leaves overlap, leaving no gaps.  To make the aubergine terrine pictured above, use an aubergine slice for the base as well as the top.
  • Place the courgettes around the edges of each ring, overlapping slightly.
  • Divide the tomato mixture equally among the ring, pressing down well.
  • Place the aubergines on top, trimming the edges to fit.
  • Seal the top with cling film and pierce the base to allow any liquid to escape.  If you are using a muffin tin: pierce the top of your terrines and, holding a paper-towel-lined tray on top of the muffin tin, flip the tin upside down.
  • Chill overnight.

to serve

  • Remove the terrines carefully from the rings (or simply lift the muffin tin up) and serve with diced roasted pepper and the roasted tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.


Nadia April 19, 2021 at 1:38 am

Wow! This is so beautiful and looks absolutely delicious!
Great photos by the way 🙂

Ellie April 19, 2021 at 2:17 am

Love the presentation and plating. Stunning!!

Joyti April 19, 2021 at 6:36 am

Great recipe. And spring is just around the corner here in the Northern hemisphere, and these look SO delicious…

Lea April 19, 2021 at 6:43 am

Wow, I just discovered your blog, and I must say, I liked it by the first article – this one looks amazing, and I’m a lover of all these things! Yummy! 🙂

Cookie April 19, 2021 at 10:49 pm

I am not a vegetable loving person but you are really making me want to eat your aubergines!

Anonymous April 20, 2021 at 2:29 pm

Yes, I do love my meat but I’d happily devour this piece of art anyday. Diggin the presentation

JohannaGGG April 21, 2021 at 3:01 am

oops – posted this before I could find link to website

Min {Honest Vanilla} April 21, 2021 at 3:40 am

Looks chi chi and so delectable! Wonderful plating! Your creativity and photography never fail to surprise 🙂

Kayla April 21, 2021 at 6:06 am

I love my greens, and I like it even more when it’s beautifully arranged like this. This can probably convince a carnivore to eat more vegetables!

Jennifer Lam April 21, 2021 at 9:07 am

wow, look at all those delicious colours!

wgfoodie April 21, 2021 at 6:52 pm

My mouth is watering and it’s not even noon here! My husband recently decided to cut back on meat/poultry/seafood, so I’ve been put on a vegetarian culinary adventure. This dish is superb. In fact, I want to make it tonight. I love everything about it and the presentation is beautiful. Muffin rings are so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 21, 2021 at 10:44 pm

What a show stopper of a dish! I love the vibrant colours and your photography has really captured that! 🙂

Chitchatchomp April 23, 2021 at 10:30 am

The colours are gorgeous!!!

Camille April 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Looks delicious! I can’t wait for the summer produce to start showing up in the markets again!

Johanna GGG April 23, 2021 at 9:41 pm

Wow those look so cheerful – great summer food – and lovely memories of your friend

Anonymous April 24, 2021 at 10:10 am

most of my favourite vege on one plate. The presentation is amazing, the flavours and the colours!

Cate Can Cook April 24, 2021 at 11:39 pm

These look absolutely beautiful!!!! Very fitting to the end of summer!

Tani April 25, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Katie, you’re amazing.

Iron Chef Shellie April 25, 2021 at 9:03 pm

It’s like a piece of art!! Gorgeous 🙂

Jennifer(Delicieux) April 25, 2021 at 9:18 pm

Wow, your terrines look amazingly delicious!! I will have to try this.
Your photos are simply stunning too!

queenotisblue April 25, 2021 at 11:03 pm

Great recipe for using up all those summer vegetables that I grow in my garden and start developing a glut of round about now. I’m always looking for interesting recipes to use up tomatoes and zucchinis, which seem to fruit the most prolifically. This is perfect!

Rande April 26, 2021 at 1:45 am

I MUST try these!!

mademoiselle delicieuse April 26, 2021 at 5:31 am

Love the bright colours and, of course, the make-ahead factor for ease of entertaining.

I’ve always loved my vegetables but do miss my meat if I go for too long without. Aside from that hippy vegetarian phase I went through as a teen…

Gayatri Kumar April 26, 2021 at 7:25 am

Wow – great presentation.. if only my mom gave me food in this way when I was younger – would have been much more beneficial .. 😀 ..Great post!!

Cooking Gallery April 26, 2021 at 8:34 am

This is so beautifully presented! Great job…:D)!

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