Vegetable “lasagne”

Dan:  Hey, Babe, what’s for dinner?

Pam: Uh…vegetable lasagna, I think. Sort of. We’ll see. 🙂

Last post, I shared how I tend to think of vegetables first when it comes to planning meals. Today was the perfect example – driving home I thought, “I know I bought yellow squash at the farmer’s market on Sunday. And that cauliflower is just starting to get a few spots. Gotta use that. And I bought those 3 potatoes at the market, too. And I have all those tomatoes from the garden! Hmmm. I wonder if I can…”

So this is what I came up with and, oh, it was good!

For the tomato sauce:

Core, halve and seed about 15-20 tomatoes. Place tomatoes into 3 quart wide saucepan on medium high heat and cover for only about 10 minutes. (Wide pan is best so the liquid can evaporate and let the sauce get all concentrated and flavorful!) Remove the lid and, using tongs, begin pulling skins off the tomatoes. They should slip right off. Using a stick blender, blend remaining tomatoes in pan. Boil uncovered, stirring frequently, until reduced in half. Add 8-10 fresh basil leaves and salt to taste, and a few shakes of crushed red pepper if you like it a little spicy like we do!

Lacking fresh tomatoes, of course you could use your favorite jar or recipe of homemade sauce.  😉

While sauce is reducing, start preparing ingredients for layering:

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

2-3 large cloves garlic, minced

½ head cauliflower, sliced (it will crumble – that’s okay)

3 yellow zucchini or crookneck squash, sliced into coins

3 large Yukon gold potatoes, sliced

1-2 cups mozzarella

¼ cup grated romano

1. Saute onion and garlic in oil in large frying pan (I use a non-stick) for 5 min. Remove to small bowl. Set aside.

2. In same pan, put cauliflower slices, a light sprinkling of salt, and ½ c water. Steam till just barely tender. Strain. Remove cauliflower to another bowl. Set aside.

3. Do the same thing as in #2 to the zucchini slices and then the potato slices.

You have now dirtied 4 bowls, but only 2 pans!

Now to assemble:

Spoon about 1 cup tomato sauce into bottom of a 8×11” pan (enough to just cover).

Using half of each bowl of veg, place in layers over tomato sauce in pan: first potatoes, then onion/garlic mixture, then cauliflower, then zucchini, then ¾ -1 more cup of sauce, then ½-1 cup mozzarella, then 2 T romano. Repeat, ending with sauce and cheese on top. You should be able to make 2 full layers.

Cover with foil and bake in 375 oven for about 10 minutes. All of the vegetables are cooked already – they just have to be heated through. Then remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes till cheese is melted and golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into servings. This makes about 6 servings, depending on appetite! Note: For vegan option, use shredded Daiya mozzarella or make your favorite cashew “cheese.”

As gooey and fattening as this looks, the entire recipe only has 1 1/4 cups of cheese (if you choose to use that) and 1 tablespoon oil, so it’s actually a very “light” meal because the bulk of it is vegetables.

Can’t wait – there’s enough leftover for lunch tomorrow!

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