Tri-Layered Vegetable “Meatloaf”

This dish is called polpettone di fagiolini, which as close as I can figure out basically means meatloaf of green beans. About right, but with a few more veggies! It’s a really nice looking dish that, like so many others, is simple to put together, but kind of time consuming.

IMG_5803Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root (a big white roundish thing, also called celeriac)
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh majoram leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • olive oil
  • butter and almond meal for the pan (didn’t have almond meal, just used flour)

To start off with, you have to steam or boil (preferably steam) all the vegetables, one at a time. This took significantly longer than I expected! I was definitely wishing I had cut the vegetables into smaller pieces, as they continued to be rock hard for ages. Cut them into small pieces, and then steam until soft enough to mash. This can be done the day before, just let them cool uncovered and then cover and refrigerate overnight.

When all the vegetables are prepared, or the next day, grease and line a 9X5″ bread pan with almond meal. Stir fry the celery root and garlic with a bit of olive oil over medium heat until the celery root looks dryer. I’ve always been under the impression that garlic burns reasonably fast, so I only added it towards the end.

IMG_5788Remove the celery root from the pan, add a bit more oil, and cook the shallots until softened.

Beat the egg whites and pinch of salt until fluffy. I wasn’t positive what “fluffy” meant, but went with soft peaks, and it felt right.

Stir the cheeses and egg yolks together in a small bowl.

IMG_5791

Around now, preheat the oven to 355 degrees.

Next, mash each of the vegetables. I decided I didn’t feel like doing this by hand, and instead used a food processor. Probably made back some of the time I had lost the night before with the extra long steaming.

Mix 1/3 of the yolk/cheese mixture into each vegetable. Add the marjoram and half of the shallots to the green beans, and the nutmeg and other half of the shallots to the carrots.

I did eventually remember to get the shallots in there too.

I did eventually remember to get the shallots in there too.

Divide the egg white mixture into 3, and gently fold 1/3 into each vegetable. Spread the green bean mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

The cross section would have looked better in the finished product had I been more even here.

The cross section would have looked better in the finished product had I been more even here.

After adding the green beans, I was a bit concerned this wouldn’t all fit in one pan, but it worked. Spread the celery root mixture on top of the green bean one, and top with the carrot.

It all fit, just.

It all fit, just.

Bake until set, about an hour. At 1 hour, the top of mine looked set, but you could see that it was still soft/moist in the cracks so I kept baking, wanting to make sure it didn’t flop coming out of the pan. Continued baking didn’t really make a difference to how moist it seemed inside, so eventually I just took it out and hoped for the best, and it did end up set enough to hold together fine, so I suggest just basing “set” on the very top.

IMG_5799Let cool in the pan 20 minutes or so, then invert onto a platter.

This would probably be a nicer shade on the outside with almond meal!

This would probably be a nicer shade on the outside with almond meal!

Visually, I think slices of this are pretty impressive looking, even with less than perfectly even layers.

IMG_5804It’s not going to replace a tangy meatloaf in my life, but as its own dish it’s a good way to get some veggies in.

Having re-read the recipe, this is apparently nice served with a loose pesto. Skimmed that the first time around, as I don’t much care for pesto, but I’ll agree that a sauce would be a nice addition.

Tri-Layered Vegetable “Meatloaf” (Polpettone di Fagiolini)

From Bread & Companatico.

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh majoram leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • olive oil
  • butter and almond meal for the pan

Cut each of the vegetables into small pieces. Steam or boil (preferably steam) each vegetable, one at a time, until soft enough to mash.

When all the vegetables are prepared, or the next day, grease and line a 9X5″ bread pan with almond meal.

Stir fry the celery root with a bit of olive oil over medium heat until the celery root looks dryer, adding the garlic at the last minute. Remove the celery root from the pan, add a bit more oil, and cook the shallots until softened.

Beat the egg whites and pinch of salt to soft peaks. Stir the cheeses and egg yolks together in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 355 degrees.

Mash or food process each of the vegetables. Mix 1/3 of the yolk/cheese mixture into each vegetable. Add the marjoram and half of the shallots to the green beans, and the nutmeg and other half of the shallots to the carrots. Divide the egg white mixture into 3, and gently fold 1/3 into each vegetable.

Spread the green bean mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan, followed by the celery root mixture, and topped with the carrot mixture.

Bake until the top is set, about an hour. Let cool in the pan 20 minutes or so, then invert onto a platter. Serve with a loose pesto.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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One Response to Tri-Layered Vegetable “Meatloaf”

  1. Catie Cupcakes says:

    Vegetables AND rainbow colors – adding it to the “must make” list.

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