Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Inspired by The Greens Cook Book: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown

This is a three part recipe. First, tomato sauce. Second,the custard. Third and lastly,  vegetables. Follow as shown below.

Serves 6-8; a good potluck dish

Cook/prep time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce

  • 2-3 large fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • sugar, if necessary

Chop the tomatoes into chunks, keep seeds and skin for additional flavor.

Warm the oil in large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, or until onions soften, stir occasionally. Add the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Add more salt if needed. Also, if needed, add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity. Set aside.

For the custard

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. of chopped basil
  • 6-8 thin slices Gruyere cheese (optional)

For the custard

Beat the eggs. Stir in the ricotta cheese, milk, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the vegetables

  • 4-5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 Japanese aubergines (eggplants), cut into round slices
  • 2-3  zucchinis, cut into round slices
  • 1 white onion, finely sliced
  • sea salt
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped in thin slices

Heat oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and aubergines and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium low. Flip and toss in oil until brown and tender, 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

Using the same skillet, add the onion and more oil if needed. Cook until onions have softened. Remove to separate plate. Set aside.

Assemble

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use a large casserole dish, Cover the bottom with a little tomato sauce. Lay half of the aubergine/zucchinis over the sauce. Sprinkle an extra teaspoon of chopped basil over the layer of aubergines/zucchinis. Follow with slices of Gruyere (if using.) Top with the remaining sauce. Follow with the remaining aubergines/zucchinis, and then the onions. Finish with with custard, covering the whole area.

Bake for 40 minutes, until the custard has gently swelled and lightly browned. Let it rest for 5 minutes before enjoying. As found from experiment, this dish is even better the second day.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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