Monday, July 25, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna

I joined a CSA this year.  It stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and you basically buy a portion of the farm, and pick up your "share" of the produce every week.  We started with greens and root vegetables in the spring, but now that it's the height of summer the bounties seem endless!

I only cook for myself (and sometimes Tommy); what to do with all these wonderful veggies?!?!

My share this week had almost ALL the ingredients for vegetarian lasagna, so I went with that!

I combined recipes from my friends Aliya and Eric with a recipe from my Mom (adapted from the Southern Living Complete Do Ahead Cookbook) to come up with this one below.  While it seemed like a substantial amount of prep, it was very tasty and provided lunch for a week!  I discovered it's crucial to saute all the veggies first so the final product isn't too watery.  Tommy really looked at this askance when he realized I substituted noodles with zucchini and eggplant, but he ate two huge servings, so it must have turned out pretty well!!!

Vegetarian Lasagna:

Prep time: 1 hour, Total time: 2 hours
Serves 12

2 large zucchini
1 eggplant 
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 
1/2 c roasted red bell pepper, chopped 
1 c grated carrots
2 cloves garlic 
1 c chopped onion 
2 T melted butter
3 T olive oil 
2 c ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
3 T fresh parsely
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried basil
15 oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
6 oz. can tomato paste (I used roasted garlic flavor)
2 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Peel eggplant and slice thinly into large sheets (these and the zucchini become your noodles).  Salt and let sit in a colander for about 20 minutes.  Rinse and pat dry.

2. Peel zucchini and slice thinly into large sheets.

3. Saute eggplant and zucchini in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Set aside when done.

4. Saute mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and onion in butter and 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until tender.  Drain and set aside.

5. Combine ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsely, oregano, and basil.  Stir well and set aside.

6. Preheat oven to 350.

7. Combine spaghetti sauce and tomato paste, stir well.  Spread half of this mixture into the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.  Arrange eggplant "noodles" in a layer over the sauce.  Spread half the mushroom veggie mixture over the eggplant.  Spoon half the cheese mixture over this.  Repeat, but this time use zucchini instead of the eggplant.

8. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes over the top

9. At this point you can cover the dish and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  Or you can immediately bake.  To bake, put in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  After the 40 minutes, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes until bubbling and melty.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

(btw I generally think food pictures are gross, 
but I felt like I had to share to show it came out looking pretty normal)


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