A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event in San Francisco for Michael Natkin, author of the blog Herbivoracious and the new cookbook of the same title. Michael cooks vegetarian food (duh) and at his event I wore hot pink pants and stuffed myself silly with his polenta.
It was fabulous.
This dude can COOK. Also, he was kind enough to give out copies of his cookbook to guests and I couldn’t wait to dive in! It’s a gorgeous book with beautiful photography and about 150 mouth watering veggie recipes.
I love a good vegetarian lasagna and was anxious to try out Michael’s version, stuffed with beefy slices of portobello mushrooms and strips of zucchini.
His secret? Sauteing the veggies before adding them to the lasagna so they don’t get watery or mushy. Genius. As a result though, there is a little bit of prep work that goes into this dish so I recommend making it when you’re not in a rush. I find slicing, chopping and sauteing veggies to actually be cathartic—I love turning on a sermon online or some music while chopping away.
I deviated from the original recipe just a tad while cooking and the lasagna came out perfect. It poofed up high in the oven and had a golden brown cheesy crust on top. I couldn’t wait to dive in…and so I did…even though it was only 10am on a Tuesday morning. Whatever.
I neatly covered the rest of the lasagna up tight and brought it over to my neighbor’s house in exchange for her watching Dexter while I’ll be gone this weekend. I think it was a fair trade, right?
I’m also assuming this freezes well (as most lasagnas do) so it would be a great dish to make ahead of time for those busy weeknight dinners!
Portobello and Summer Squash Lasagna
serves about 8
adapted just a smidge from Herbivoracious
2 tbsp of olive oil, divided
4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise very thin (about 1/8″), or summer squash
3 portobello mushroom caps, “gills” scraped out and sliced into 1/4″ pieces
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 28-oz cans marinara sauce
about 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
12 oz grated Mozzarella cheese + 3 oz Parmesan cheese
1 tsp sea salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add single layer of sliced zucchini in the skillet and saute until well browned on both sides. Remove and place squash on paper towels while you saute the rest of the sliced zucchini. When all the zucchini has been browned, place the portobello mushrooms in the skillet and saute until tender. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
In the same skillet you cooked the veggies in, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the minced onion and garlic and saute for about four minutes. Add the pasta sauce and a little sea salt to taste. Stir well.
Place about a cup and a half of the pasta sauce at the bottom of a 9 x 13″ dish. Then on top, lay three no-boil lasagna noodles flat. Follow this with a third of the veggie mixture, a half cup of the ricotta mixture, a cup of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese blend. Lay another three noodles on top of that and repeat the process until all your noodles are gone. On top, drizzle remaining marinara sauce and the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Cover pan loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Let lasagna set for 15-20 minutes before serving.