Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rosie Surprises Herself With Zucchini Lasagna.

As any gardener can tell you, if you grow zucchini, you will always have more than you can use. I've been eating the small, baby zukes right off the plant in numerous sautees and salads. But, every now and then, you miss a zucchini and when you finally find it, it is humongous. What to do? I'll tell you: Zucchini bread. Zucchini roll-ups. And today's exquisite lunch: Zucchini Lasagna.
Here's my little pretty.
As for the extra liquid, I'll explain why. But FYI, the soupiness was quite delicious.
Mr. Hawthorne peeled my Zugantua.
Then he sliced it about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thin.
Slice down lengthwise, making 4 sides - a rectangle. Keep slicing, but stop short of the pithy interior. Discard the core.
Mr. Hawthorne dropped the zucchini slices into boiling salted water and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. You don't want the zucchini limp but you do want it flexible.
Drain the zucchini "pasta." Now, I'm starting on my "ricotta" filling:
Since I had no actual ricotta I mixed maybe 2 parts cream cheese and 1 part sour cream.
And added a handful of minced basil.
Slather well.
And add in some grated Asiago. My "ricotta" is ready. On to my tomato sauce:
I gathered mucho tomatoes last week and made a lovely fresh tomato and herb sauce. See here. Mr. Hawthorne packed the sauce in quart bags and froze them. And I'm thawing one out.
Rosie's Zucchini Lasagna From top right going clockwise: zucchini "pasta" tomato sauce baking dish with first layer of sauce "ricotta" assorted white cheese pieces, grated (Mozzarella, Monteray Jack, Swiss, and Asiago for the topping.)
Layer of fresh mater sauce. Layer of zucchini pasta. Rosie's Ricotta.
A combination of white cheeses.
Some more tomato sauce.
Just layer however you want ...
... until you use up all the cheese and then some. I grated some Asiago on top and popped it into my Microwave/Convection oven on convection at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
Here's my Zucchini Lasagna. Align Center
Here's my slice of zucchini lasagna. The reason it's watery is that I blanched the zucchini. I didn't get rid of the water already in the zucchini so when it baked, it exuded the moisture. Had I grilled well-oiled, salted and peppered slices then the moisture would have been cooked out and no juices would ooze out on the plate.
As it was, the watery stuff was deliciously full of flavor.
Zucchini Lasagna. Best thing I've eaten in a long, long time. A culinary trompe l'oeil. Zucchini for pasta. The "pasta" was inspired. The texture was intriguing. Not limp pasta, but something you would expect to be pasta that wasn't. Something that you bit into and felt. It wasn't crunchy but it did have a lot of bite to it. A thickness. It was al dente to the nth degree. The zucchini flavor was almost fruity. In a very good way. Oh goodness. The cheeses! And the fresh tomato sauce! Don't forget the basil! This was an excellent lunch. Those of you who might have baseball bat-sized zucchini lazing about in the garden, you really must try this. You'll be very happily surprised. Once again, trust Rosie on this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great idea Rosie. I tried it and now I know what to do with those "bats". It was better than pasta !