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Author Notes: On a recent flight, I had a vegetarian lasagna that was just killer. Who knew you could have such a great meal on an airplane? I switched out some of the veggies they used for spring vegetables in the stores right now. The result is a pasta-less lasagna that uses zucchini as the "pasta" layers topped with roasted asparagus. Instead of a tomato sauce, I just roasted tomatoes that I used for the bottom layer and top. This makes for a light layered lasagna with goes great with a salad for lunch or a light dinner. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Makes 4 gratins
- 20 spears of the fattest asparagus spears you can find
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 2 beefsteak-like tomatoes
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 stalks spring garlic, white and light green parts, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded (optional)
- lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 300F. Slice the beefsteak-like tomatoes in thick slices. Slice the Roma-style tomatoes in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently toss the tomatoes in a little olive oil, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt. Lay out on the parchment paper and roast for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the asparagus spears in half lengthwise, toss in a little olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, the dried thyme, and a little lemon juice. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the asparagus spears out on the parchment paper. Roast until tender, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Slice the zucchini into very thin slices using a potato peeler. Set aside.
- Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and 1/8 cup of Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Saute in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil the sliced spring garlic, thyme, serrano pepper (if you're using it), lemon juice and salt until soft and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the baby spinach and saute, adding a little more olive oil if needed, until completely wilted. Remove the mixture to a cutting board and chop. Add to the cheese mixture.
- All the steps up to this point can be done ahead. Preheat the oven to 375F. Assemble the "lasagnas" by placing a layer of roasted tomatoes down first, followed by the zucchini, followed by enough cheese mixture to lightly cover the gratin, followed by zucchini, cheese mixture and topped with the asparagus spears. On top of the spears, I placed 1/2 roasted plum tomato and sprinkled the rest of the parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes if using individual gratins like shown in the photo.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Vegetable Recipe