Locally Grown, Readers’ Choice: Grilled Veggie and Ricotta Pesto “Lasagna”

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Marilyn Hall of Pleasantville says she’s always trying to find a dish that will please everyone in her family.
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“My vegetarian husband, my own low-carb diet, and my hungry HUNGRY adolescent boys. This has become a family favorite for us all.”

What do you think of the recipe? Vote below. The reader favorite will win a cookbook.

Want to enter the contest yourself? Click here: LoHud.com/LocallyGrown.

The recipe, after the jump.

Grilled Veggie and Ricotta Pesto “Lasagna”
Serves 6 as a main dish, 12 as a side
3 medium eggplant, sliced ¼ inch thick lengthwise (discard ends)
6 medium zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick lengthwise
6 medium yellow summer squash, sliced ¼ inch thick lengthwise
2 large Spanish or Vidalia onions, sliced ¼ inch thick across (keep slices whole)
4 large tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick across (keep slices whole)
Olive oil or olive oil spray
1/2 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

Ricotta Pesto
2 tablespoon pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Ricotta cheese

Topping:
2 tablespoons pine nuts
10 garlic cloves
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grate Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Lightly spray baking sheets with olive oil spray (or brush with olive oil). Place the eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion and tomato slices on the sheets without overlapping. Spray again with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 13-15 minutes until they start to brown on the bottoms.
Remove and lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, make pesto. Chop pine nuts and garlic, add Parmesan cheese and basil leaves until chopped. Then slowly add olive oil and continue blending.
Add pesto to ricotta cheese and stir.
Spray a 9″ x 12″ pan with olive oil. Layer half the eggplant slices on bottom followed by zucchini and yellow squash Press down firmly to pack. Layer pesto over vegetables, then layer remaining zucchini, squash and eggplant. Layer mozzarella, then gently cover with onion slices, and finally with tomato slices.
Make topping. In food processor, chop pine nuts and garlic, add breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, add additional salt and pepper and mix. Sprinkle over top of “lasagna”.
Bake for 1 hour, until “lasagna” is brown on top and pulls away from the pan. Pour off any excess liquid. Let cool in pan for 20-30 minutes. Cut into pieces for serving.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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