Servings: 10 servings
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 dozen fresh asparagus spears
1-½ cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
1 cup braided sun-dried tomato and basil mozzarella, sliced
½ cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
3/4 cup packed steamed French lentils, separated
1 (0.88-ounce) package agar agar powder
3-3/4 cups filtered water, cold
1 (8-ounce) package coconut cream
3-¼ cups goat milk
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1-½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
4 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
3/4 cup spicy parsley vinaigrette (see tips for recipe)
1 cup roasted chestnuts, coarsely crumbled
Grilling the asparagus: Trim about 2 inches from the root. Brush a hot griddle pan with oil. Lightly coat the asparagus using a silicone brush and place on the griddle. Cook until you get grill marks (about 2-3 minutes on each side) over medium heat. Do not overcook; it should be still tender and crisp and not mushy or you would have depleted all the healthy nutrients. Remove from the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cooking the carrots: In a small pot, add the carrots and 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes. Once the liquid evaporates, check doneness (add more water and cook a bit longer if the carrots aren't softened).
Cooking the crimini mushrooms: In a non-stick pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook on heat high until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of parsley. Set aside.
Prepping the jellied vegetarian terrine: Dissolve the agar agar in water. Pour the agar agar liquid into a sauce pan. Heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower to medium. Keep stirring for an even, smooth texture.
In a different pan, heat the goat milk until you reach a near boil. Add the agar agar liquid. Stir well. Add coconut cream, then lower the heat. Add garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Move immediately to the next step; otherwise the mixture might set in the pan.
Brush the mold (see tips) with cold water and line with plastic wrap for easy un-molding. Pour a ladleful of the goat milk mixture into the mold. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, cover with another ladleful of the goat milk mixture. Let the first layer set for about 2-3 minutes, then add the sliced mozzarella. When the top is a little sticky to the touch but the liquid hasn't reached a gel consistency, repeat the same procedure with the carrots, then the crimini mushrooms. Add a layer of grilled asparagus (I alternated spears and stems on each side of the mold so the texture is even). Cover with more goat milk mixture. Finish with the black lentils and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Add another layer of goat milk mixture. It's important that you wait enough time in between each layer so that the layers bind together without mixing with each other.
Mix the remaining goat milk mixture with Tabasco sauce (if used); it will create a pretty swirl as a finishing touch. Pour that last layer.
Let the vegetarian terrine set at room temperature until it's completely cool.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
When you're ready to serve, gently un-mold the terrine by running a knife around the inner wall of the mold. Flip the mold onto a long platter and gently remove the plastic liner.
When you're ready to serve, cut into slices using a sharp knife. Spoon some spicy parsley vinaigrette (recipe follows) and top with roasted chestnuts.
Garnish with parsley leaves.
You could also make a seafood terrine, adding crab meat or lobster, which tastes delicious. I'll post the recipe soon.
I made a multi-layered terrine. If the terrine contains fewer ingredients, you could replace the plastic wrap liner with crêpes, boiled leeks (or any green leafy vegetable) or nori (seaweed) sheets. The possibilities are endless.
Agar agar powder is a good gelatin substitute for vegans and vegetarians. It is derived from seaweed and is cooked the same way you would gelatin powder. It is widely used in Asia. I also use it to make fruit mousses such as my egg-free banana mousse or chestnut mousse. I buy the Thai Telephone Brand; it's sold in 25-gram packages. (FIY 0.88 oz = 25 g). Depending on the agar agar product you use, the amount of liquid added might vary a little to reach the perfect consistency.
Goat milk has a different taste than regular cow's milk. It's rich in folic acid and less fatty. I also used coconut cream but you could replace it with heavy cream if you like.
You can find coconut cream in any Asian market.
I buy ready-made peeled, roasted chestnuts at a local Asian market. They're sold in 10.5-ounce (5-small bag) packages. Chesnuts are slightly sweet, nutty and starchy; they are the perfect complement to the terrine.
I used store-bought steamed black lentils from Trader Joe's.
You could prepare the vegetable terrine a day in advance.
I used a 16"-long stainless-steel triangle-shape mold.
How to make spicy parsley vinaigrette: In a mini-blender (or a regular blender if you don't have a mini), combine 1 roasted Serrano pepper (seeds and stem removed), 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 clove of pickled garlic, 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of walnut oil. Add 2 tablespoons of water for a smoother flow. Pulse until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Voilà!