A girlfriend came over last night with dinner for me and my friend, Vicki, with whom I’m staying here in Houston on my vacation. In a beautiful woven basket was a springform pan filled with an unusual and very easy-to-make veggie tort. It was so spectacular I had to share this with all my Heartwarming sisters. So many of you share your favorite and delicious recipes with us, I could not let this one sit in my recipe file for “personal use only”.
Veggie tort 
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
  • Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high, and the rack about 4 inches from flame. Brush eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms lightly with half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; if roasting, grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Roast or grill vegetables on both sides until soft.
  2. Coat bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan with oil. Layer a third of the eggplant slices into bottom of the pan, then layer in half the zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, garlic and basil, sprinkling each layer with a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat layers until all vegetable are used. Press the top with a spatula or spoon to make the torte as compact as possible. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and bread crumbs, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. Bake torte in oven until hot throughout and browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing outer ring of pan, then let cool for another 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
We served this with grilled salmon and a piece of bread. Voila! Dinner.
I know that for 4th of July everyone has their family favorite hot dogs, corn on the cob and potato salad.

But for a twist I want to offer my sister, Nancy’s, Yogurt Potato Salad. This one is light, fresh and a crowd pleaser.
                   NANCY’S YOGURT POTATO SALAD

2# red skin potatoes cooked and sliced
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup Helmann’s mayonnaise
2T sugar
½ teaspoon dill
3 Tablespoons  Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Boil the potatoes with skins on and then slice. Cool. Add onion and parsley.   Mix the rest of the ingredients in another bowl and then add to the potatoes.  I usually double this recipe and use about 5 pounds of potatoes because it is gobbled up very quickly!

INSTEAD of plain hot dogs wrap them in bacon. Then roll them in a bit of granulated sugar. Grill. ENJOY!

For the CORN ON THE COB, take off the husks, clean the corn of the silk.  In a bowl, mix 3/4th cup of real mayonnaise and some Italian Herbs. I add a bit of Thyme and fine chop Basil.  BRUSH the corn with this mixture and then place directly on the grill. I spray with a bit of vegetable spray. Grill. (Turn the cobs every 3-5 minutes till of about 20 minutes.) The Corn will brown with the mayonnaise mixture which will give it a smoky, bacon taste, believe it or not. This has become a real favorite of ours for 4th of July.

For all of you living in the USA, I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and for my Canadian friends, have a wonderful weekend!
(And for all of you who think that I misspelled my title, I did not. That's the title of a musical play/song "The Fantasticks one of my husband, Jed's, favorites.)

And a bit of self promotion...while you're turning that corn every 3-5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes, and you want to read something...

And to all….happy reading!
Catherine; @cathlanigan on Twitter/ Facebook/Catherine Lanigan.


  1. That's some hot dog, Catherine. I think I'll go with the corn though. :) Thanks for sharing these perfect summertime recipes.

    1. Good morning, Jill! The hot dogs are a meal by themselves. For parties, I roll those little mini-sausages in a third piece of bacon, roll in sugar and then bake for about 15 minutes on a rack in a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil. Everyone loves them!

  2. I just had breakfast a short while ago, but your pictures and recipes are making my mouth water, Catherine! Thank you for sharing the recipes.

    Happy 4th of July to everyone in the US, and to all my Canadian friends happy 150th birthday Canada Day weekend!

  3. Oh my, Catherine! You made me hungry! I think you just planned my July 4th menu ;).

    Happy Fourth of July and, as Kate said, Happy 150th Bday to our Canadian friends! :)

    1. See? No worries! Just hit the market and Voila! Have a great time with your family!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hotdogs wrapped in bacon--does life get any better? I'll have to try the potato salad since our family eats potatoes any which way. And yes, Happy Fourth of July to my American sisters and have a blast on our 150th, dear Canadians!

    1. Good morning! The thing I like about this combo is that this potato salad is very light. The hot dogs are well...heavy. I eat one without the bun. Happy 4th!

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Liz.
      My sister served this all the time and it was a real people pleaser.

  7. Everything looks delicious. Have a good weekend, all!

    Yesterday I ran a giveaway on this blog for my tote and two of my Shores of Indian Lake books. I put all the eligible winners in a bowl and my granddaughter pulled the name. We thought about having one of the cats do it, but they just wanted to play. Tarafarah7 Please contact me with your snail mail address. My email is

  9. Thanks for these great recipes, Catherine. The veggie tort and potato salad especially appeal to my carb-loving self. ,Happy July 4 and looking g forward to your new release.

  10. Hi, Janice. The tort is especially nice. I brought the leftovers here to my son's house and I warmed it up and had it for lunch two days later. WOW. It was even better! It tasted like the first day only the Basil had really made it's presence known. I loved it. So, I can recommend that one for leftovers as well.

  11. The recipes look so delicious. Thanks for sending them out to us.

    1. You are welcome, Roz! I hope you have a happy 4th and do something fun!

  12. I got hungry, too, just reading the recipes. Another beautiful cover, too!

    1. I agree, Virginia. I love this blue sky and their happy faces. Happy colors are always least I think so.

  13. All the recipes sound yummy. I love dill in potato salad. I've preordered the Heartwarming 4-pack and am looking forward to reading over the holiday. Happy 4th of July.

  14. Oh, thank you, Beth! I think you'll love the books! And Happy Fourth of July!


Post a Comment