What do you put in your vegetable lasagna?
- mels Apr 3, 2007 07:43 AM
I am stuck in the same routine using generally the same veg every time. What kind of veg do you usually throw in there? I seem to always be drawn towards spinach (chopped and mixed in with the ricotta), mushrooms, and zucchini as my staple veg. I am making a large lasagna for Easter and would like to change it up a bit while not using anything too out there, since there is a large crowd with a few picky eaters that I have to contend with.
chopped up egg plant that is lightly sauteed. I have also used squash, spinach, mushrooms (portabellos and regualar). But I like my veggie lasagna chunky with less cheese and lots of sauce so it's kind of weird version.
Giada makes a butternut squash version that is really good. The only thing I do differently is I like to roast the cubed squash rather than simmer it. A friend made it with frozen squash and people still loved it.
I'm kind of with you on the same vegetable page, but here's what I did recently to mix things up with the same veggies. Instead of spinach, I mixed fresh basil (about half a large bunch for one large container of cheese) and a raw egg into the ricotta in a food processor, gave the cheese a lovely soft green color, and a heavenly taste. Instead of pasta, I used zucchini ribbons sliced on a mandoline (you could use a veggie peeler too, but the ribbons shouldn't be too too thin). For the filling I sauteed a mix of wild mushrooms and a dice of fresh young carrots (important to get a fresh bunch with green tops, and not a bag of baby carrots, they're much sweeter and more tender when cooked), with thinly sliced shallots and fresh thyme, finished with a little white wine. I also made a bechamel sauce with freshly grated nutmeg and good pecorino romano. Then I assembled like lasagne and baked. It was really delicious. One word of warning, the zucchini does give off lots of moisture when baked, but if you make it the night before, bake it halfway and finish the next day, a lot of the moisture is re-absorbed into the dish.
I had thought to myself after trying it this way that it needed a little brightness and acidity to counter the richness of the bechamel and the ricotta, and I thought I might add a confit of roasted tomatoes to the mushroom filling next time.
I also thought that eggplant slices would work well, and then chop the zucchini with the filling.
OH! (added later) To give the zucchini some extra flavor, I brushed the slices after they were laid out like noodles over the filling with a mixture of good olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
I like many of the ideas already mentioned.
You could make a mexican lasagna, with tortillas instead of lasagna noodles and kidney beans, chedder cheese, salsa, etc. and dollops of sour cream on top.
I like grilled asparagus in my veg lasagna. I like a mix of bechamel and a little bit of tomato sauce.
You could do a greek version with feta instead of mozzarella and oregano instead of basil with grilled zucchini and eggplant, spinach, etc.
I haven't tried it, but I like the idea of doing a fig, gorgonzola, bechamel lasagna.
Oh! The Mexican lasagna is a great idea! Actually, that's the way they sometimes make (stacked) enchiladas in New Mexico. You could make a green sauce from tomatillos, and if you live near a Latin market you could crumble Mexican farmer's cheese (actually, regular farmer's cheese is a fairly good substitute). Roasted peppers and/or chilies would be a great addition as well!