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Day 238: Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

Grilling vegetables isn’t hard. Slicing them evenly lengthwise sometimes can be though, and brushing them with oil and flipping them on the grill, jockeying for position over the hot and cool spots, can be tedious. The resulting lasagna was fantastic, but I think next time I’ll chop all the veg up and roast them in the oven. The slices did make for pretty layers though.

I can’t say vegetable lasagna without thinking of Seinfeld. I’ve been calling Mike vegetable lasagna all night. It sounds like a band name: “I play bass in Vegetable Lasagna.” You know how when you say a word over and over and over it starts to sound weird? Vegetable lasagna.

I don’t use a recipe to make lasagna, so I’ll walk you through it:

1) Spread some sauce on the bottom of the pan. It doesn’t have to be a traditionally shaped pan – I often make lasagna for 2 (now 3) in an 8″x4″ loaf pan. Just break the noodles to fit. Whatever pan you use, make sure you have lots of sauce. Top with 3 noodles. (Oops, I forgot a picture of the noodles! You know what noodles look like. Use the no-cook ones because it is a royal pain to boil lasagna noodles. Hint: even the ones that aren’t labeled “no-cook” work without cooking them.)

2) Slice some eggplant (1 medium), zucchini (I used 1 green, 1 yellow) and a red pepper (quartered), brush with oil and grill until softish and grill-marked. Set them aside and slice the grilled chunks of pepper into strips. Lay half of them on the noodles. Their moisture will help the noodles cook through.

3) Drop some part-skim ricotta in spoonfuls over the veg. (I used almost a whole 500 mL container altogether.) I have decided to skip the traditional stir-with-an-egg step, which seems to me like a waste of a bowl and an egg; after all, there isn’t much reason for the cheese to be bound together, is there? Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan, if you want.
4) Repeat layers of noodles, veg, ricotta, noodles, then sauce, and mozzarella cheese (part-skim).

5) Bake at 350F for about an hour, until bubbly and golden and a fork poked through tells you that the noodles are tender. Cover with foil if you need to if it’s darkening too quickly. (In fact, you could start out with it covered for half an hour – this also helps keep the moisture in so that the noodles cook through. Uncover for the second half though, to allow it to turn golden.) Let it sit for about 15 minutes before you cut into it. 

W has started asking me to take pictures of his food, and tonight he took the camera and wanted to take a photo of his own dinner. Since I was slow to get the lasagna in the oven, it was still baking at 6:30 and so I made him some whole wheat rotini with tomato sauce instead, and he asked to take it under the table to eat with the dog. At least he used a fork.

(This is one of his photos.)


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16 comments on “Day 238: Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

  1. Adele
    August 26, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Awww, that photo is priceless. W is closer to the ground, so the floor and under the table are in his world, while the table top and counters are our world. I love it!

  2. Dana
    August 26, 2008 at 6:34 am

    You can call me vegetable lasagna anytime! And, if you form a band, I’ll play the cowbell or mop up afterwards if I can eat a slice of this fantastic looking entree as my reward.

  3. A
    August 26, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Once a week we should all eat under the table with the dogs………come to think of it I could make a meal out of what I find under there!

  4. Matin
    August 26, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I love anything involving roast vegetable and your lasagne looks great, the photos are cool too:-)
    X M

  5. robyn
    August 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Maybe you should let W take the dinner pics everyday for awhile. It could be “W’s World”.

  6. Cory
    August 26, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    OMG! This looks sooooo great!
    Julie I gotta say, if I can ever cook half as great as you do, I’ll be very happy. Then, I’ll have to work on the photography aspect as well. Your photos always look so great.

  7. maplesugar
    August 26, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    WOW! Those pix have me drooling lol. Any chance you want to adopt us? j/k Looks beautiful Julie. I think I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow – lasagna is perfect for the cooler weather.

  8. Pat
    August 27, 2008 at 5:35 am

    I have been making a spinach, artichoke lasagna that has been a real hit. Can’t wait to try your recipe.
    My cheese never looks that delicious!

    When I cook eggplant, I salt it and let it sit to get rid of the bitterness; is it necessary to do that for this recipe?

  9. JulieVR
    August 27, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Yes you could absolutely do that, and then wipe off the excess salt, but it’s not necessary. It draws out excess moisture too. I generally don’t bother (laziness) and don’t usually notice! The younger eggplants tend to be less bitter (just like people), and those long, thin Japanese eggplants tend to be more bitter, I think.

  10. Sue
    August 27, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I love your food pictures too. On 2 separate vacations this summer I took pictures of my food! One was a can of beans cooking over a fire at our campsite and it turned out amazing. The second was a tray of sandwiches and two Ceasar drinks, outside on a little table in the sunshine.
    You’ve inspired all of us to take pictures of our food!

  11. Jen
    August 28, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Taking pictures of food is the first step to compulsive food-blogging. It happened to me! What is it about photographing food that seems to just capture the essence of a moment? I’m going to do a post soon on a vegan moussaka I made with a similar technique to this. I love the thinly sliced vegetables!

  12. nora
    November 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    thank you

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