Zucchini Lasagna

The problem with delaying a post is that you forget how you prepared a dish…even if you have pictures of the process :-/ I suppose that’s a jab at my memory! In any case, I have a good “excuse” — I had ACL surgery in early March, so most of my mind was occupied with that. Today (3/20/2010), I was finally “recovered” enough to take a trip to Whole Foods and cook up some damn fine grub. But this post isn’t about that. This post is about a different fine meal that I prepared at home on Jan 30, 2010 (Yes…almost 2 months ago!!! :-( ). Btw, I also finally set up my own website =D –> www.varundube.com, which seems to be off to a good start. We’ll see how it goes.

And finally on to the food! I was watching some fine knife-carving by Japanese chefs and was inspired to use a big-ass knife to make thin sheets of zucchini and make manicotti with it. Two things foiled my plan: I was not skilled enough and I did not have a big-ass-enough knife. So I ended up cutting thin strips and reverting to looking for a zucchini lasagna recipe. Giada had a recipe that looked fantastic, but I ended up modifying it to suit my inner desire for a comfort food. It turned out great! The zucchini was cooked through and left no taste, it was light but satisfying, it was crispy and cheesy enough for everyone, and adding red pepper flakes and pasta sauce gave it two kicks in the right direction.

Some notable things we did to ensure bliss:

  • after arranging each layer, we decided to broil it in the oven so that the breadcrumbs and cheese would loose a little moisture and crunch up
  • adding sauce was an afterthought as we found a small lack of depth with just the cheese and zucchini
  • we used ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses mixed with some dried herbs, a lot of black pepper and a little salt
  • used panko bread crumbs on top of cheese for extra crispy crunch

cutting zucchini
arranging in dish with black pepper
starting to make cheese mixture
cheese mixture
cheese mixture
baked layer
layer 2
layer 2 arranged
baked layer 2
done? I think not
in the background, topped off with red pepper flakes and sauce

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