Today: With layers of roasted vegetables and an herbed tofu filling, this lasagna does not want for mozzarella or ricotta.
It’s easy to group lasagna (and other casserole dishes) into the category of cold weather comfort food, but to me, lasagna is a quintessential summer dish. This is partly because I’m partial to layering my lasagnas with roasted vegetables, and the warm weather crops—zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, fresh tomato, and summer squash—work particularly well. As you’ll see, roasted vegetables give this lasagna plenty of texture, flavor, and substance. Enough substance, in fact, that you may not even notice the absence of cheese.
A woman cannot live on vegetables alone, however, and this lasagna wouldn’t be complete without the herbed tofu filling. Call this a dairy-free spin on ricotta; call it crumbled tofu; call it whatever you like. It’s delicious and versatile, and it does create a remarkably authentic filling for the dish. If you like the tofu preparation, try crumbling it onto your salads (I love it with fresh strawberries and mache), adding it to pasta dishes, or using it to stuff manicotti or ravioli. It’s a great, all-purpose, non-dairy filling, and you can adjust the flavors by adding or subtracting different herbs.
Serves 6 to 8
pounds eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small eggplants), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
3/4 pound zucchini or yellow squash (about 2 zucchini), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
Salt and black pepper
10 ounces lasagna noodles (about 10 to 12 noodles)
2 packages extra-firm tofu, drained of liquid (about 28 ounces)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
About 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
12 to 15 torn basil leaves (optional)
Photos by James Ransom