Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nothing Compares to a Plate of Summer's Fresh Vegetable Lasagna

I had been daydreaming about making a fresh vegetable lasagna all summer. I was thrilled with the results of my daydreaming, as was Nick. You need nothing more to complete this meal than good-quality Italian bread and olive oil for dipping. It's fun to use a combination of both red and yellow tomatoes. Don’t be alarmed if when you remove the lasagna from the oven and it looks like it’s swimming in liquid; fresh vegetables naturally produce this liquid during the cooking process. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle with the other ingredients.

Summer's Fresh Vegetable Lasagna
2 eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of freshly ground black pepper
4–6 medium red and/or yellow tomatoes, sliced
1 additional tomato, chopped, for top of lasagna
About 2 cups fresh basil leaves
6 pieces no-boil (also called oven ready) lasagna noodles
About 2 cups shredded zucchini
1 pound mozzarella, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt

   1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.
   2.  In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add ricotta            cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper; stir until  well combined.
   3.  Line the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with half of the sliced tomatoes and completely cover tomatoes with half of the basil leaves. Top basil leaves with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over lasagna noodles. It won’t completely cover the noodles, but don’t worry, it spreads out during cooking. Top ricotta mixture with 1 cup of shredded zucchini and top zucchini with half of the mozzarella cheese.
4.      Repeat layers, starting with another layer of tomatoes. Top the last layer of mozzarella with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan; sprinkle the top of lasagna with kosher salt and top with chopped tomato.
5.      Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and baked an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly. Switch oven temperature to broil and broil until slightly golden brown. 

8 to 10 servings