Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the fresh produce of the season, so why not take full advantage of the summer bounty and try this tasty dish? This recipe revamp is bursting with the flavours of sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh herbs and grilled, in-season vegetables, and is sure to satisfy even the most discerning lasagna fan.
Roasted tomato and grilled vegetable lasagna
Serving size 8
20 large Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh oregano, minced
1/4 cup fresh thyme, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large oval eggplant
4 portobello mushrooms
1 cup crumbled feta
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (360-gram) package of fresh lasagna noodles, such as Olivieri lasagna sheets
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the chunky tomato sauce:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters.
Place the tomatoes skin side down on two baking sheets with raised edges.
Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of each fresh herb.
Bake for 2–3 hours or until they are softened and slightly roasted.
In medium skillet or saucepan, over medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes until tender.
Add the roasted tomatoes and any liquid from the pans to the garlic mixture.
Pour in the wine, and add the rest of the herbs. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring often and breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon or spatula.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
To grill the vegetables:
Preheat the barbecue to medium.
Slice the zucchinis and eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick strips.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms.
Brush the vegetables lightly with olive oil, and then grill over medium heat for 15–20 minutes or until tender, with grill marks.
Slice the mushrooms into pieces after grilling.
Assembling the lasagna:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, feta and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, and season lightly with pepper.
Thinly cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with sauce.
Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Top with the eggplant, half the ricotta mixture and one-third of the remaining sauce.
Add another layer of lasagna noodles, and top with the zucchini, mushrooms, half the ricotta mixture and one-third of the sauce.
Add the final layer of noodles and the remainder of the sauce, and then sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Increase the heat to 500 degrees F to brown the top. Watch carefully, as this takes only a minute or two, and the lasagna can easily burn at that temperature.
Remove from the oven, and let the lasagna stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Garnish with fresh Parmesan and finely sliced fresh oregano, if desired.
To make this a quick weeknight meal, prepare the sauce ahead of time, and store it in an airtight container for up to five days, or keep it in the freezer for up to six months. And don't limit this recipe to only a summer meal, since it works just as well with vegetables that have been seasoned and then roasted in the oven at 400 degrees F until tender.