No need to turn on your oven tonight. These summer veggies stack up to a hearty meal.
Call it veggie lasagna -hold the pasta. I can′t take all the credit for this recipe. As part of my job, I do plenty of eating around. Years ago, I was obsessed with one gentleman (other than my husband) by the name of Matthew Kenney. He knew how to make me happy, especially on a hot day and with a refrigerator crisper drawer endlessly overflowing with fresh summer vegetables. Trust me when I say that the ginger, while an odd ingredient for an Italian-American like myself to add to any tomato sauce, wakes up the flavors in this dish. Incredibly fresh veggies and a $20 slicer help, too.
3 zucchini or yellow squash, thinly sliced
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese or dairy-free ricotta cheese alternative (optional)
Grated peel of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 cups packed basil leaves, plus more for topping
½ cup walnuts
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese or dairy-free parmesan cheese alternative (optional)
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Toss the zucchini with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Using a food processor, puree the ricotta, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon peel and 1 teaspoon salt; scrape into a bowl.
- Add the basil leaves, walnuts, parmesan, the remaining ½ cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt to the food processor and process until blended. Scrape the pesto into a bowl.
- Wipe out the food processor bowl and add the canned tomatoes, the sun-dried tomatoes, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the ginger and 1 teaspoon salt; puree.
- To make individual servings, slightly overlap 2 or 3 zucchini slices on each of 4 dinner plates; season with salt and pepper. Top with 2 rounded tablespoons each of the reserved tomato sauce and ricotta mixture, then 1 tablespoon of pesto, 2 tomato slices and a couple of basil leaves. Repeat the layering twice, finishing with basil leaves.