Saturday, November 12, 2016

Vegetarian Lasagna (crock pot optional)

I tried some new ingredients and techniques, and two people asked for the recipe! I made one in a crock pot and put the exact same ingredients into a traditional baking dish. The only difference was I boiled the noodles for the regular 9x13 baking dish, but I put the noodles into the crock pot raw.
Cut off the top ¼ inch of a head of garlic, and place it on a piece of foil. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the garlic, and fold up the edges of the foil around it. Gently squeeze the edges of the foil to seal loosely. Just stop reading here if you need exact details about quantities, because you are not going to get any. Put the foil-wrapped garlic into the oven with the veggies.
Chop up 2 zucchini, 2 summer squash (yellow crookneck), 6 or so tomatoes and one eggplant. I cut the squash in half length-wise, and then made about 1 inch slices. I cut the eggplant in half length-wise, then cut 4 or 5 slices in both directions, resulting in rectangular cubes. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper on top. Stir gently, then bake for about 30 minutes. I’m not sure about the exact temperature- my German oven was set to about 180. In the US, I would have set it to 350. I did take the dish out once to stir the veggies.
I had leeks on hand from our farm share, and sautéed them fairly finely chopped in olive oil and butter. I like them well done, so let them brown a bit. Add as many chopped mushrooms as you’d like. I cut up 200g, which was the package size I picked up in the store. Let the mushrooms soften, then commit a kitchen crime (?) by adding 2 cans of tomato paste, 2 envelopes of spaghetti sauce mix, and the amount of water called for on the envelope of sauce mix. Let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the roasted veggies to the sauce. You could keep the veggies separate from the sauce if you wanted to.
see note below

Squeeze out four or so large cloves of roasted garlic and smush them around in a bowl with a spatula until it is in a lumpy paste. Place a large container of part-skim ricotta cheese into the garlic bowl, and blend the cheese and the garlic. Next time I will probably use 6 cloves of garlic, but I didn’t want it to be too intense. Add shredded cheese of your choice. I used mozzarella and gouda, and didn’t measure the quantities. Probably at least a cup of each. Stir together.

Boil lasagna noodles (or don’t, if you are going to use a crock pot). Layer the tomato sauce/veggies, noodles, and cheese. Top with a bit of parmesan. Crock pot on low for 3-3.5 hours, oven for 30 minutes or longer if you refrigerate the pan overnight.

The last photo is of a fruit that did not go into the lasagna. I didn't cook with them, so there is no recipe for this blog. They are called "goldbeeren" in German, which means gold berries. They are eaten raw and though they look like yellow cherry tomatoes, they taste like limes! I cut them up and put them on a salad - we do that with grapes, so why not these interesting fruits?

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