Our single zucchini plant is taking over the garden. Looking back to when we first planted it, it’s hard to imagine that it has grown so much. We’ve finally reached the stage that the plant and its leaves are so big that we have hidden zucchini. Even though we try to check it carefully, we keep being greeted in the mornings by surprise zucchini that have managed to grow to the size of a toddler seemingly overnight. Thanks to this phenomenon, I’m christening this week “Zucchini Week” here on B2B, where you’ll have the fun of seeing me try to sneak zucchini into every meal I make.
The inspiration for this recipe came after I made zucchini pesto salad (using spiralized zucchini instead of pasta) for my sister’s bridal shower. She’s been eating a gluten-free diet for a while now, and the zucchini that have been hiding out in our garden were certainly large enough to sub in for lasagna noodles.
Slice the zucchini very thinly. (From now on with this recipe, I will salt the zucchini slices and put them in a strainer for an hour or so before continuing. The only problem with this recipe the first time around was that it was a little watery. Salting the zucchini would remove a lot of that moisture.)
Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, and then add a layer of zucchini slices.
Mix together a 16oz container of ricotta cheese and an egg. Fold a quarter cup of chopped basil leaves into the mixture.
Spread one third of the ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini slices.
Layer parmesan on top of the ricotta mixture. I just sliced off little pieces, but if you were using grated cheese, you’d want about a third of a cup of parmesan per layer.
Add another layer of tomato sauce on top of the cheese, and then proceed with the zucchini, ricotta, parmesan and tomato sauce layering. I made three full layers, and then topped everything with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Bake at 375 (or 380 if you have a crazy Ikea oven) for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
If you’re not in possession of baseball bat sized zucchini, you can use normal zucchini and thinly slice them the long way. A mandolin would work well for this.
1 toddler sized zucchini (ours weighed 4.8lbs)
1 jar of tomato sauce
16 oz of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup basil
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
1. Thinly slice the zucchini (1/8” or thinner). Salt the zucchini and layer it in a strainer. Allow at least 30 minutes for the salt to draw some of the moisture out of the zucchini and up to 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Chiffonade the basil, by stacking leaves on top of each other and rolling them up. Slice thinly across this roll of herbs to get even, thin slices of basil.
4. Mix together the ricotta and egg, and fold in the basil.
5. Layer tomato sauce, zucchini slices, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese. Repeat for three total layers.
6. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and slices of fresh mozzarella.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is brown and bubbling.
8. Allow the lasagna to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it.
Stay tuned for more zucchini recipes!