One of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is to watch cooking shows – particularly the ones on KQED/PBS since I don’t have cable TV, and neither does Jules. (Lidia Bastianich and Jacques Pepin are two of my personal cooking heroes!) After subjecting him to a show about steamed cod and a pea salad, I happened upon a new show called “Food For Thought With Claire Thomas”. Claire Thomas is an L.A.-based food blogger and self-taught cook (sounds familiar), visiting an urban garden (sounds familiar), making healthy food (it’s like this show was made for me!). By the time they got into their segment about home gardening, I was sitting in rapt attention (at that point, LB had completely tuned out the TV and was off watching streaming anime on his laptop).
I loved the recipe she presented, and at the suggestion of the BF, added a layer of fresh mozzarella to this delicious recipe. Below is the original recipe, with notes at the bottom.
Garden Fresh Lasagna
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced in 9 slices (about the thickness of lasagna noodles)
2 large tomatoes, sliced about a 1/4 inch thick and cut in half
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced basil
For the pesto:
1 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F. Halve the cherry tomatoes and place them face up on a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are juicy and slightly caramelized. Set aside. In a food processor combine the pine nuts, garlic, and parm until pasty. add the basil and big pinches of salt and pepper and while the food processor goes, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
To assemble, on a large plate line three pieces of zucchini slightly overlapping. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the pesto (enough to coat the zucchini) and cover with tomato halves. Add another layer of zucchini. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes and top with 2 tablespoons of the basil. Top with another layer of zucchini, add the tomato slices, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining basil. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil
Other options: adding cheese, prosciutto, salami, using some of your other favorite vegetables and left overs (chicken breast, sauteed spinach, caramelized onion, roasted butternut squash, whatever suits your fancy).
Recipe adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen