Thursday, 8 November 2012



 Image from Green Kitchen Stories

I know it seems a bit weird posting about Lasagna. We've all had it and a lot of us have made it. It's not really that complicated is it, layers of meat and pasta, or if you're like me, veg and pasta. But the truth is it is complicated. Everybody has their own version and I thought , after all these years that I had my favourite down pat. My mother taught me how and that's how I like it. She always used plenty of white sauce and a layer of spinach as well as the beef/pork combo of meat, slowly cooked in tomato sauce. Since becoming a vegetarian, I simply left out the meat and added roasted veggies instead. But the other day a favourite blogger of mine, had in their archives a post entitled 'Worlds Best Vegetable Lasagna', and I thought oh yeh, challenge accepted, let's see how good this really is! I was blown away! It would never have occurred to me to add olives and capers to the mix and the combination was amazing. The saltiness of the olives and the pungent sour kick from the capers were a little taste party from heaven in my mouth. The lemon-ricotta was light and added just the right amount of creaminess without overwhelming the dish. I'm sorry Mum, but I will never make Lasagna any other way than this again!


 Lasagna With Grilled Vegetables taken directly from Green Kitchen Stories
Serves 4-6

Tomato sauce (scroll down for recipe)
1 package of whole wheat (or gluten free) lasagna noodles
Lemon-ricotta (scroll down for recipe)
Grilled vegetables (scroll down for recipe)
1 package of mozzarella cheese (250 g)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce, cover with a layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of lemon-ricotta, a layer of grilled vegetables, a layer of kale and a layer of tomato sauce. Repeat 2-3 times, top the last layer with the rest of the vegetables, the tomato sauce, the lemon-ricotta and the grated mozarella cheese. Bake it in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
Tomato sauce (arrabiata)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium size onion (finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 fresh chili (medium strong, finely chopped)
25-30 kalamata olives (pitted)
2 tbsp capers (drained)
4 large tomatoes (cut in quarters)
2 cans plum tomatoes
half a pot fresh basil
salt & pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, and chili and saute  for 2-3 minutes. Add olives, capers and fresh tomatoes and cook it a couple of minutes more before adding the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 10 minutes, lower the heat and let it simmer for half an hour more under a lid.
Grilled Vegetables
2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini (sliced)
1 eggplant (sliced)
300 g mushrooms,
300 g fresh kale or spinach
1 clove garlic

Dash the zucchini and eggplant with olive oil and salt and grill them in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes. Stir fry the mushrooms and the kale in a pan for 5 minutes with olive oil, salt and garlic. You could also grill the zucchini and eggplant in a broiler pan, the important thing is that the vegetables release some of their moist before putting them in the lasagna.
Lemon- ricotta
500 g ricotta cheese
1 organic medium size lemon (zest and juice)
1/2 pot of fresh basil (chopped)
a pinch of sea salt
a pinch of lemon pepper

Place ricotta cheese in a bowl, grate the lemon zest and squeeze the lemon, add zest and juice to the bowl. Add basil, salt and lemon pepper and mix it together.
See the instructions on how to put the lasagna together in the beginning of the recipe.
Enjoy World’s Greatest Vegetable Lasagna!

I'm always so inspired by David, Luise and Elsa's blog and their amazing photography. I do have an excuse on that front though, tiny home, terrible lighting (this is the biggest problem) and not enough fabulous dishware to really style things well....oh yes and talent, but that I'm working on! 
Don't be frightened by the long recipe, it's not that difficult and well worth the effort. 

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