It’s a fun take on an old favorite, even for those without dietary restrictions. While I usually find lasagna to be such a comfort food that it ends up relegated to snowy times, the slightly al dente zucchini slices give this version a freshness that makes it feel completely appropriate for summer. It’s also a great way to use up zucchini when your garden is overflowing and you can’t stand one more loaf of zucchini bread. When we made it for the Downtown Farmers Market last Tuesday, we stacked our lasagna with sautéed kale, tomato sauce, and homemade ricotta, but you could use any combination of veggies that you have in abundance; one visitor to the market even suggested replacing the zucchini noodles with bright slices of bell peppers.
With a few minor adjustments, the assembly on this lasagna is pretty standard. After slicing the zucchini – a mandolin slicer would be useful, but isn’t essential – lay it out on paper-towel lined cookie sheets and sprinkle with salt; this helps to draw out excess water and keep your lasagna from getting soggy. To help distribute the kale evenly, we combined it with our ricotta mixture before layering, but you can adapt that depending on the other veggies you choose.
This recipe was adapted from the lovely Tri to Cook.
- 1 very large (or 2 regular) zucchini
- 1 bunch kale, washed and destemmed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 24 oz jar tomato sauce (may not use all)
- parmesan cheese
- fresh basil, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut the ends off of your zucchini, then slice lengthwise into 1/4 in “noodles.” Arrange slices on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Chop the kale into small pieces; add to the pan and saute for 5 min. Add garlic and cook until kale begins to wilt. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Mix together ricotta, egg, garlic powder, basil, and oregano in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled kale.
- Blot the zucchini with paper towels to remove moisture drawn out by the salt.
- Cover the bottom of a 9 in pan with a thin layer of sauce. Begin layering the lasagna, alternating zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, and tomato sauce.
- Bake, covered with foil, for 35 min. Remove foil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and cook for an additional 5-10 min, or until cheese is bubbly and begins to brown.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 min before cutting. Serve topped with fresh basil.