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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Grilled Summer Lasagna

Delicate pasta with layers of hot cheesy tomato-y goodness, lasagna just can't be beat ... in the winter.  Let's admit a heavy and hot dish, albeit superbly tasty, just doesn't work in the summer.  But with the wave of a magic wand, a few fresh herbs and bright veggies,  a summer lasagna is born.

This is a fun option for a summer picnic or barbecue.  And you won't have to heat up your kitchen. It's an elegant fat and happy summer meal.

Tips and techniques:  If you don't have a grill, you can also oven roast the zucchini.  Or go completely fresh and use the zucchini raw.  The freshest, home grown ingredients will yield the best flavor. This serves 2 along with a side salad.

Grilled Summer Lasagna

1 large Zucchini
1 large Tomato
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbls fresh thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
olive oil

Slice the zucchini lengthwise and then slice the tomato.  Be careful to slice these the same thickness; using a mandolin works the best.  Try to slice about 8 slices out of the zucchini, that should put your thickness about 1/8 " thickness.  Mix the olive oil, half of the fresh basil and thyme together; then marinate the zucchini and tomato slices in the oil for about 20 minutes. Mix the ricotta, Parmesan, garlic powder and remaining fresh herbs.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Next, grill zucchini slices (reserve the oil) and cool slightly. Now assemble the lasagna. Begin with two slices of zucchini, top with 2-3 slices of tomatoes, and a layer of ricotta cheese.  Grate a bit a fresh Parmesan and pepper on top of the cheese.  Repeat.  Top the final layer of cheese with two zucchini slices.

Drizzle the dish with a few tablespoons of the marinade oil and a few sprinkles of fresh basil and parsley.  Enjoy!

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