Ina’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

My friend Flo made this a few weeks ago and raved about it. I made vegetable lasagna today in anticipation of a much awaited cold front and it is wonderful. I used zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and basil from my garden. I only used one 32 oz. jar of marinara sauce as I roasted some cherry tomatoes and garlic that I had on hand and pureed it to add to the marinara. I think the herb goat cheese makes a wonderful addition to the ricotta but I would substitute if you have kids that don’t like goat cheese. I love that you can make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze. I think this and a salad would serve a party of 12-14 easily.
Ina's vegetable lasagna
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
3/4 pound zucchini, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
2/3 cup good olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
10 ounces lasagna noodles, such as De Cecco
16 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta
8 ounces creamy garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 1/2 cups good bottled marinara sauce, such as Rao’s (40 ounces)
1 pound lightly salted fresh mozzarella, very thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the eggplant and zucchini in single layers on 3 sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Brush them generously with the olive oil on both sides, using all of the oil. Sprinkle with the oregano (I crush it in my hands), 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, sprinkle the garlic evenly on the vegetables, and roast for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, fill a very large bowl with the hottest tap water and add enough boiling water to bring the temperature to 140°F. One at a time, place the noodles in the water and soak them for 15 minutes, swirling occasionally so they don’t stick together. Drain and slide the noodles around again.

Combine the ricotta, goat cheese, eggs, basil, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed.

Spread 1 cup of the marinara in a 9×13×2-inch baking dish. Arrange a third of the vegetables on top, then a layer of the noodles (cut to fit), a third of the mozzarella, and a third of the ricotta mixture in large dollops between the mozzarella. Repeat twice, starting with the marinara. Spread the last 1 1/2 cups of marinara on top and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan.

Place the dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the lasagna is browned and bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve hot.

Make-Ahead Notes
Assemble the lasagna completely and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost (if necessary) and bake before dinner.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

From Smitten Kitchen’s wonderful blog and these could not be easier or more delicious! I am so excited about this recipe as I have a zucchini and yellow squash in my garden that is really producing.
Zucchini parmesan Crisps
Olive oil or cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 to 2 egg whites
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs, such as panko
A couple pinches sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat two baking sheets lightly with cooking spray or thinly with olive oil. Slice zucchini into slightly-less-than 1/4-inch thick rounds; if they feel especially wet, spread them on a towel while you prepare the other ingredients. In a small bowl, lightly beat first egg white with 1 teaspoon water to loosen it. Combine cheese, crumbs, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Dip each zucchini coin in egg white, letting excess run off before gently dipping them in parmesan mixture. Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. If additional egg white is needed, prepare it the same way, with 1 teaspoon of water. If additional crumb mixture is needed, make a few spoonfuls at a time, matching the volume of crumbs and cheese.

Bake zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping each over halfway through. Please keep an eye on them; they may need to be moved around on the tray so the ones at the edges don’t bake more quickly than the ones in the center. Take them out only when they’re golden all over and let them cool on the tray on a cooling rack or a plate.

Keep at room temperature until needed. Crisps are best on the first day.

Hazelnut, peach and raspberry cake

A delightful cake from Yotam Ottolenghi. I updated the metric weights to our weights. I only used 6 oz. of raspberries and I mixed all of them with the peaches.** I cooked the cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center was set. I did not find the need to cover the cake with foil while it baked. This cake is at its best when slightly warm; that said, it will keep for a day, but not much longer. Serves 10.
Peach and Raspberry Cake

2 tsp sunflower oil
2 large peaches, peeled and stoned and cut into 1.5cm/1/2″-wide wedges
200g/7oz. raspberries
320g/11 1/4 oz./1 1/2 cups caster sugar(fine baking sugar)
125g/4.4 oz./1 cup blanched hazelnuts
200g/7 oz. soft unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten
125g /4.4 oz/1 cup plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt

Hazelnut cake

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Line a round, 24cm/9.5″ spring-form cake tin with baking paper and brush with the oil.
Put the peaches in a bowl with 150g/5 1/3 oz. raspberries and a tablespoon of sugar, mix and leave to steep.
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz for about a minute – you want them only roughly ground.
Beat the remaining sugar and the butter in an electric mixer until smooth and well combined, then add the eggs one by one, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Add the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and salt, then mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the cake tin. Arrange the peach slices and raspberries randomly on top and bake for 70 to 80 minutes; after 30 minutes, cover the cake with foil to prevent it from taking on too much colour. Remove the cake from the oven, leave to cool slightly, then release from the tin.**Arrange the remaining raspberries in the centre of the top of the cake and serve.

Tomato Mozzarella Tart

This recipe is from Designlovefest where my niece Joanie works! Joanie is a wonderful cook and food stylist! The tart is so simple and easy and great for lunch or dinner or an appetizer. I used a mixture of cheeses** from Trader Joe’s called Quattro Fromaggio. I love the idea of a vegetable tart and there are endless possibilities!
Tomato Mozzrella tart• 1 box (2 sheets of pastry puff) or one package of Dufour Puff Pastry (pricey but the best!)
• 5 roma tomatoes sliced
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella**
• 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese**
• 1/2 white onion sliced
• 2 garlic cloves chopped
• 1 small bunch marjoram
• 1 bunch fresh basil
• olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon butter
how to make it:
• roll out the pastry puff and defrost in room temperature. pre heat oven to 375. In a baking pan (we used a 13 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ ) lightly grease with non stick cooking spray. Cut parchment paper to size; cutting the edges so as it can fit when pressed down. Lightly spray the parchment paper and lay the defrosted pastry puff on top. we used a fork to push the edges of the two sheets of dough together to make sure it cooked as one and to create a crust around the edge.
• in a medium sized pan on medium heat, melt the butter and place the onion slices. stirring occasionally until browned.
• lightly drizzle dough with olive oil and begin to layer with tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, caramelized onions, marjoram, chopped garlic.
• bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and tomatoes have roasted.
garnish with fresh basil leaves and shaved parmesan. cut into slices and serve!