Many Vegetable Lasagna

The 2014 VegOut! Challenge close is right around the corner! It’s been a speedy one, no? In case you’re almost there and need a recipe to push you over the 30 veg edge, try this recipe by Francine Spiering, who writes over at Life in the Food Lane. The nine veggies in this dish will surely help you reach the finish line.

Many Vegetable Lasagna

Many Vegetable Lasagna
This recipe serves 2-3 adults

This combination of vegetables creates a lasagna that is abundant both in flavor and color. Sweetness from the yellow beet and squash, hearty flavors from the onion, kale and celeri, aromatic flavors from the garlic, eggplant and bell pepper, and acidity from the tomatoes. – Francine
Vegetable sauce:
1 medium eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow (golden) beet
1/2 acorn squash
1 cup cooked kale*
2-3 stalks celeri
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 cup peeled and diced tomato
1 cup (or less) water
1 bayleaf
1 tbsp olive oil
fresh herbs: thyme, mint and basil (to taste)
spice it up to your liking: I used a tsp smoked paprika, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of dried ginger, a pinch of cayenne, and salt/pepper (my pinches are generous)

Ricotta mixture:
1 cup ricotta
2 eggs
1 “ball” mozzarella, chopped fine
1 cup grated parmesan
salt/pepper to taste
6-9 sheets lasagna (depending on the number of layers you prefer)
  • A lasagna being a flat-layered dish, I like to cut all vegetables into half-moons and/or slices. Also, lazy me, I use lasagna sheets that need no precooking.
  • Heat the olive oil in a wide casserole dish. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft (about 5 min).
  • Add the eggplant, beetroot, bell pepper, squash, and celeri, stir and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
  • Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf and half the water. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Add more water if it looks too dry. Taste, add salt/pepper, the cooked kale, and fresh thyme and shredded basil.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the ricotta mixture: Whisk the eggs until foamy, stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and half of the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble: In an oven-safe casserole dish, spoon some of the vegetable sauce to cover the bottom. Place lasagna sheets on top of sauce, next to each other but an inch or so apart, and from the sides (the lasagna sheets expand in the oven). Spoon more vegetable sauce, cover with lasagna sheets, add another layer if you like (dividing the sauce accordingly), and finally the ricotta mixture.
  • When your layers are done, cover the entire dish with the ricotta mixture. Spread  evenly and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. If you like, also sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 400F and bake for another 20 minutes or until bubbling and slightly browning on the top.
  • Finish by sprinkling with fresh herbs and  small capers.
  • Serve more or less immediately.
The cooked kale was a leftover from a previous meal. You could add raw, chopped kale to the sauce to simmer along with the rest of the vegetables. It’s bitter-green taste can dominate, though. If you want to balance the flavors, “wilt” the kale first (in the microwave, for instance).

 Read more of Francine’s culinary musings and recipes at Life in the Food Lane.

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