Torta Rustica – Recipe

Special vegetarian entrees are fun to make for holiday dinners, and Torta Rustica is a delicious and pretty alternative to a roast.

You can make the entire torta in advance and just heat it up for the dinner. Choose whatever vegetables look good and fresh at your farmer’s market. The colors of the vegetables — red peppers, dark green spinach, bright green artichoke hearts, black olives–are presented vividly when you slice the torta.


2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups very hot water

1 eggplant (1 pound), cut into -inch slices
2 onions, diced
1 large organic summer squash, sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
3 tablespoons black olive paste or cup sliced black olives
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
3 ounces sliced mozzarella
14 ounces roasted red peppers (jars or home-roasted)
1 can 14-ounce artichoke hearts
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions for Dough
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, holding out 1 cup of flour. Stir to blend. Add hot water, and mix. Add the remaining flour a bit at a time unitl the dough is firm enough to knead. Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board and kneed for 10 minutes or so.Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place.

Directions for Filling
1. Spread a little olive oil on the bottom of a large roast plan. Place cut eggplant, onions and squash on the pan and bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 15 minutes, or until soft.

2. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a pan and cover with water. Simmer over medium heat until soft. Drain; puree in a food processor until smooth. Turn out into a bowl, add the black olive paste, and blend.

3. Saute garlic in oil for about 15 seconds. Add spinach, and stir until wilted. Let cool.

4. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 14 inches wide by 20 inches long. Spread with the tomato-olive puree, followed by roasted eggplant, mozzarella, roasted vegetables, spinach, and artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

5. Roll up. Place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake until brown, about 30 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool.

Adapted from a recipe in the November/December 1996 issue of Eating Well magazine.


Deb Newton
Debbie Newton11 years ago

My daughters are not big meat eaters so this would be a delicious meal for us.........I can't wait to try it!! It sounds so delicious that I'm hitting the grocery story on my way home tonight :-)) Debbie