Happy New Year to all of you. I have had the most wonderful and relaxing break discovering new parts of South Australia and Victoria. Including an eco-friendly shark dive with the Great Whites, Christmas in Carrickalinga, wine tasting in the beautiful Barossa Valley and Mclaren Vale. Sadly missing out on the Great Ocean Road due to bush fires and venturing through country Victoria to trek The Grampians National Park and NYE in Daylesford.
The break was much needed and I am very excited to be back in kitchen developing and styling recipes. The first recipe off the starting blocks for 2016 is a scrumptious vegetarian style roasted zucchini lasagne, no pasta was used so great for the veggies and gluten-free goers. The béchamel sauce was made from lemon zested ricotta and parmesan, the bolognese a combination vine ripe tomatoes and kale and the sheets of “pasta” was delicately roasted zucchini ribbons. A delightful feast for any meat-free day.
It can be a little time consuming so save this one for the weekend. You have to pre-roast the slices of zucchini. But I cannot begin to tell you the delicious results, so I would definitely persevere.
A well balanced dish using a lemon zesty ricotta and parmesan for the béchamel sauce and cooked vine ripe tomatoes contain substantial levels of lycopene a natural antioxidant, cooked toms are known to possibly combat certain types of heart disease and certain cancers. The onion and garlic in the tomato sauce are anti-inflammatory and kale is a great source of chlorophyll which is alkalinising, your body works best in an alkalinising environment. Serve with a lightly dressed sprout salad which is also a great source of chlorophyll, vitamin C and will help to chelate any free radicals in the dish.
Equipment: 30cm x 24cm baking tray for lasagne, brush for oil, large flat baking trays for roasting the zucchini
6 Zucchini, sliced lengthways using a mandolin
Sea Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Lg White Onion, finely diced
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Cup Basil Leaves, torn
3 Lg Ripe Vine Tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 Cups Kale, de-stalked, finely chopped
450g Fresh Ricotta
1 Sml Organic Lemon, zested & squeezed
125g Parmesan, finely grated
2 Cups Snowpea Sprouts
- Pre-heat oven to 200c. Place zucchini in single layers on baking paper lined trays. Brush both sides of the zucchini ribbons with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and dusting of paprika. Whack in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden (but not burnt) repeat process until all zucchini ribbons have been roasted.
- Whilst zucchini is roasting. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and fry until soft and fragrant. Then add 3 garlic cloves and tomatoes, heat until bubbling then let them simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add a couple of good pinches of sea salt, pepper and the basil. Season to taste, then take off the heat. Add in the kale and half the lemon juice and stir well (this will be the “Bolognese” equivalent)
- For the béchamel; grab a large mixing bowl add ricotta, lemon zest, the rest of the lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, half the parmesan, a good pinch of sea salt and pepper. Mix well and season to taste.
- Once all of your zucchini ribbons have been roasted, time to load up your lasagne. Lightly grease your 30cm x 24cm baking tray (or something similar) with coconut oil. Add a good layer or roasted zucchini on the bottom (mine was almost a double layer, used about 2/3 of the zucchini) follow by adding all of your tomato veggie “bolognese”. Then add 1/4 of your béchamel. Finish with final layer of zucchini, add the rest of your béchamel sauce (a spatula will help spread this around). Evenly sprinkle the rest of the parmesan, pepper and a dusting of paprika.
- Pop in the oven for 25 minutes. Until browned and bubbling.
- Serve with snowpea sprouts and simple salad dressing, see top recipe here