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Monday, April 20, 2015

Eggplant-Zucchini Lasagna


Eggplant and Zucchini take center stage and by replacing traditional noodles in this meatless lasagna, making it a low-carbohydrate alternative to traditional lasagne. This dish is reminiscent of Greek Moussaka.  
 



Both vegetables are sliced lengthwise and oven roasted. This is admittedly a labor-intensive process from start to finish, but all lasagna dishes tend to be labor intensive. It is not recommended to prepare this meal on a weekday when you get home from work! It is best to prepare on Sunday for dinner on Monday. (Our trips to the Farmer's Market are on Sunday, so it works out perfectly!)




One short cut is purchasing jarred (or dare we say it...CANNED) marinara. You can call it 'home made' by fortifying with oregano and basil.  (Mum's the word!) 


Here's how:

Heat crushed garlic and olive oil in a skillet.  Caramelize onions. 
To caramelized onions, add marinara sauce, oregano and basil.  Simmer 20 minutes.












Once veggies have been roasted and marinara sauce put together, the ricotta cheese mixture needs to be blended:

Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and more oregano.

Then your lasagna can be put together:
Layer a bit of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish followed by half of the roasted zucchini,
half of the roasted eggplant,
half of the ricotta cheese mixture,
and half of the remaining marinara.  Then repeat layers. 

The complete recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Pound Eggplant
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Yellow Onions, Diced
  • 1 Jar (or can) of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 24 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare 9 x 13 baking dish with baking spray.  
  2. Thoroughly wash Eggplant and Zucchini.  
  3. Trim ends from Eggplant. Leave the peel on. Slice lengthwise approximately 1/4 inch. Salt and let stand 30 minutes to draw out water. Rinse. Pat dry (use a clean, lint-free tea towel). Place on parchment-lined half sheet pan (rimmed cookie sheet) and bake at 375F for 30 minutes, or until tender with pierced with a fork. Set aside.      
  4. Trim ends from Zucchini. Slice lengthwise approximately 1/4 inch thick. Place on parchment-lined half sheet pan (rimmed cookie sheet) and bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic cloves and garlic.  Saute until onions are caramelized.  Add marinara sauce, oregano and basil.  Simmer 20 minutes to help blend the flavors.  
  6. Spread 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of greased baking dish. Layer half of the Zucchini slices, half of the Eggplant slices, half the Ricotta Cheese Mixture and half the remaining Marinara Sauce.  Repeat layers, ending with sauce.
  7. If desired, refrigerate overnight.
  8. Prior to baking, sprinkle with shredded Mozzerella Cheese (if desired).
  9. Bake at 350F until hot and bubbly, approximately 40 minutes.  Let stand 10-15 minutes prior to serving.  It is best to cut with a serrated knife.    
  10. Tip: Cutting with a serrated knife works best. 



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