A Feast Menu for the Spring Equinox

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Leek Torta

Here is a gluten-free main course full of good vegetable flavor. The soft warm egg and cheese filling make this a great meal unto itself.

Crust Ingredients:
3 cups gluten-free flour
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup chilled water
¼ teaspoon salt

Filling Ingredients:
8 eggs, beaten
3 cups broccoli, chopped
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 cups leeks, sliced into rounds
2 cups ricotta
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup half & half
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Butter, to dot the top

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, and butter and form into a crumble with the hands. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together in a ball without being sticky. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Roll the dough to ¼” thick. Press into the bottom and up the sides of an oiled 9” x 13” baking pan. Crimp the dough all around the top edge. With the points of a fork tine, make a dozen or so holes in the base of the crust, press aluminum foil inside and up the sides and weigh it down with some dried beans to hold the aluminum in place. Bake the crust in a 400ºF. (200ºC.) oven for 7 to 8 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, remove and discard the foil and beans, and set to the side. The decorative edge keeps the filling from overflowing when baked. Cool completely before filling.

In a large pot in a steam basket with water below, steam the broccoli and cauliflower for 4 minutes. Drain and cool. In a small pan melt the butter and sauté the leeks until soft, set aside and cool. Retrieve the piecrust in the pan and spread out the cooked broccoli and cauliflower evenly. Arrange the leeks evenly on top of the broccoli and cauliflower. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, seasonings and cheeses together and pour the mixture carefully over the vegetables. Dot the top with small pieces of butter, which will help turn the top of the dish, a golden color. Bake the torte in a 375ºF. (190ºC.) oven for 40 to 45 minutes until it starts to rise and is golden brown.

Butter, broccoli, cauliflower, egg, half and half, and ricotta are all of water, and leeks are water of fire. Parmesan cheese is of earth, the rice flour is air of fire, and parsley is of air. The dried celery in the celery salt is of air. Italian seasoning is made up of dried parsley, garlic, sage, oregano, basil, pepper, onion, rosemary, and thyme. Oregano and parsley are of air, and thyme is air of earth. The dried sage, dried basil, dried garlic and dried onion are all air of fire, and the pepper and rosemary are of fire.