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Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna1

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna.  I hope the picture above does this dish justice.  It was amazing.  I’m not one to go crazy with personal horn tooting but this was a huge success.  I have shared it with 13 people as of noontime today.  The responses were unanimous.  “Oh my.”  “Can I have one more bite.”  “Yum!”  “Is this recipe on Lemony Thyme?”

I’ve been making lasagna for nearly 30 years.  In the early days my choice of ingredients weren’t necessarily classic (breakfast sausage links do not belong in lasagna) but the process hasn’t changed.  So for my friend Sherry, who stands firm that any recipe with more than 5-ingredients, just isn’t happening in her kitchen….I’m going to break this down into Steps.  You’ve got this girl.

Even as a veteran lasagna maker, I approach each one as a process….with clearly defined steps.  Here are my Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna Steps.

Step #1 ~ Gather all ingredients.  Don’t skip this step.  Cooking is so much easier when you have everything you need at hand.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna3Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna2

Step #2 ~ Roast Veggies.  Slice and dice a good variety of veggies.  We used zucchini, eggplant, summer squash, and broccoli.  That’s what the Farmers Market gave us.  Please use what’s fresh and local.  You’ll want about 8 cups of veggies (cutting them thinly or bite-sized), tossed lightly with olive oil, shredded parmesan cheese, fresh herb sprigs, garlic & herb seasoning, salt & pepper.  I prepped the veggies in two batches (a gallon Ziploc bag is a great way to toss), then spread them onto two shallow baking sheets and baked them for about 30 minutes, until tender.  Reserve.  I also sautéed 2 cups of fresh spinach with some minced garlic, then pressed it dry between paper towels.  You could use thawed frozen spinach as well.

Note to Sherry:  Don’t stress over this step.  Can be done a day ahead.  Choose your veggies, your favorites.  The additional ingredients are conveniently limited to five.  You definitely have this!!

Lasagna Noodles

Step #3 ~ Cook your noodles.  While your veggies are roasting, bring a big pot of salted water to boil (big pot 2-3 gallon), add lasagna noodles and boil until al dente.  You don’t want to over cook the noodles as they will finish cooking in the lasagna.  Drain and rinse cooked noodles under cold water.  I know there are No-Boil noodles available, I’ve never used them and don’t judge those who do.

Can be made ahead.  Lay flat in single layer on parchment paper and reserve.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna Sauce

Step #4 ~ Make your sauce.  While your noodles are cooking, start your sauce.  When I’m making lasagna there are two things I don’t want to run out of.  Sauce and cheese.  Make a big batch of sauce.  If you have any leftover, you can freeze it or use it in almost any other comfort food dish.  Because this is a Vegetable Lasagna, start off with a good amount of shredded carrots and onion (at least 3 cups worth).  Sauté veggies in butter until tender, then dust with flour, stirring constantly.  Once fully incorporated and bubbly, slowly whisk in milk/cream, stirring constantly.  Sauce will thicken when it comes to a ‘gentle’ boil and as it cools.  Remove from heat, add in parmesan cheese and whisk until melted.  Reserve.

Can be made ahead, just reheat slowly before assembling lasagna.

Step #5 ~ Prepare your cheeses.  In this case we used an herbed ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.  The ricotta is beaten together with eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic & herb seasonings and dried basil.  For the parm and mozzarella, I used two 8-ounce blocks and shredded them.  Each block yielded 3-4 cups of shredded cheese.  Freshly shredded cheese vs. the prepackaged already shredded kind is much creamier and you get so much more for your $$.

Can be done ahead.  If you don’t have time to shred or shredding cheese is a deal breaker, buy the prepackaged kind.

Step #6 – Toasted breadcrumbs.  I love finishing this delicate lasagna with a layer of toasted panko breadcrumbs.  It’s an easy step that adds a little something special to the dish.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna5

Step #7 ~ Assembly.  All the heavy lifting has been done, now the fun begins.  I must admit I get a bit giddy over assembling all of these layers of goodness:

1. Sauce ~ Ladle just enough sauce to cover the bottom of your lasagna pan.

2. Noodles ~ Lay three noodles, side by side, on top of sauce.

3. Ricotta ~ Drop about 1/4th of ricotta mixture by spoonfuls over noodles.  Spread with fork.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna6

4. Cheeses ~ Sprinkle about 1/4th of shredded cheeses over ricotta.

5. Veggies ~ Layer 1/3rd of roasted veggies over cheeses.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna7

6. Sauce ~ Ladle about 2 cups of sauce over veggies.

7. Repeat ~ Continue at assembly step #2 above for three more layers.

8. Finish ~ Top final layer of noodles with remaining ricotta, sauce, grated cheeses and a generous sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna8

Step #8 ~ Bake & Rest.  Resting your lasagna after you bake it is almost as important.  Bake Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna at 350 degrees for one hour.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna3Vegetable Lasagna

This Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna recipe makes a big batch.  Definitely enough to share with a dozen or so of your closest friends.  We call that {Share the Love} around here.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
For the roasted veggies...
  • 2 sm.-med. zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 sm.-med. summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 eggplant, partially peeled and sliced into ¼-thick rounds
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh herbs (lemony thyme, oregano, thyme)
  • 1 Tbl. Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt & pepper
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 Tbl. minced garlic
For the noodles...
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 Tbl. salt
For the sauce...
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 Tbl. butter
  • 6 Tbl. flour
  • 8 cups of milk/cream (or half & half)
  • 2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • pinch red pepper flakes, optional
For the cheeses...
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 8 ounce block mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded (3-4 cups)
  • 8 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly shredded (3-4 cups)
For the toasted breadcrumbs...
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • spray olive oil
Instructions
For the roasted veggies...
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut veggies thinly or bite-sized, toss lightly with about olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh herb sprigs, garlic & herb seasoning, salt & pepper. Then spread onto two shallow baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Reserve. Can be done a day ahead.
  2. Sauté fresh spinach in olive oil with minced garlic, for 2-3 minutes. Cover and remove from heat until wilted. Press between paper towels to remove liquid. Reserve.
For the noodles...
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil (2-3 gallons). Add salt, then add noodles one by one (do not break). Stir gently as they soften until all are completely covered with water. Return to a boil and cook 10-12 minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook as they will finish cooking in the lasagna.
For the sauce...
  1. Sauté carrots and onion in butter for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. Then dust with flour, stirring constantly. Once fully incorporated and bubbly, slowly whisk in milk/cream, stirring constantly. Sauce will thicken when it comes to a 'gentle' boil. Remove from heat, add in 1 cup parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes; whisk until melted. Reserve.
For the cheeses...
  1. In a small bowl whisk together ricotta, eggs, ½ cup parmesan cheese, garlic & herb seasoning and dried basil. Reserve.
  2. Shred mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Reserve.
For the toasted breadcrumbs...
  1. Spray shallow baking sheet with olive oil spray. Spread panko in thin layer, then spray lightly with olive oil spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove and reserve.
For the assembly...
  1. Ladle just enough sauce to cover the bottom of your lasagna pan.
  2. Lay three noodles, side by side, on top of sauce.
  3. Drop about ¼th of ricotta mixture by spoonfuls over noodles. Spread with fork.
  4. Sprinkle about ¼th of shredded cheeses over ricotta.
  5. Layer ⅓rd of roasted veggies over cheeses.
  6. Ladle about 2 cups of sauce over veggies.
  7. Continue at step #2 above for three more layers.
  8. Top final layer of noodles with remaining ricotta, sauce, grated cheeses and a generous sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs.
Bake & rest...
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cover with foil part way through if crumbs begin to brown too much. Rest at least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
Allow lasagna to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Lasagna from Lemony Thyme

 

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