Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

I made a lasagna recipe from Cooking Light for dinner tonight. It sounded a little bit different from the basic lasagna, so that is what appealed to me. I grilled the vegetables (on my grill pan) and assembled the lasagna this morning before work; then I popped it into the refrigerator. When I got home I put it in the oven and then we ate it. I bet it would freeze nicely, too.

My changes: I halved the recipe, used a combination of zucchini and yellow squash instead of just zucchini, skipped the bell peppers, and used dried herbs instead of fresh.

I liked it a lot. I thought it was a nice change from the usual lasagna, and I enjoyed the vegetables. I liked how it all came together, and I liked not having to assemble it in the evening.

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna
Grilling the vegetables deepens their flavors, which makes for a delicious vegetarian entrée. To speed preparation, use no-boil lasagna noodles; the baking time remains the same.

3 eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 pounds)
3 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
1 (15-ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese
1 large egg
3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
9 lasagna noodles, divided
1 (26-ounce) jar tomato-basil spaghetti sauce (such as Muir Glen), divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup commercial pesto (such as Alessi)

Preheat grill.

Coat eggplants and zucchini with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Grill eggplant and zucchini 1 1/2 minutes on each side or just until tender. Cool; combine in a large bowl.

Place bell peppers on grill, skin-side down; grill 3 minutes or until tender. Cut into (1-inch-wide) strips. Add bell peppers to eggplant mixture.

Combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, basil, parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions, omitting the salt and the fat.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over tomato sauce. Top with half of eggplant mixture. Spread half of ricotta cheese mixture over eggplant mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Arrange 3 noodles and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce over cheese; cover with the remaining eggplant mixture. Top with remaining ricotta mixture. Spread pesto over ricotta; sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover with remaining 3 noodles.

Spoon 1 cup spaghetti sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Asiago cheese and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375° for 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 10 servings

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