Roast Vegetable Lasagne

VegetableLasagne.jpg

A delicious array of flavours and textures in this vegetable lovers’ delight! This recipe can easily be prepared and assembled the day before and refrigerated, then baked an hour before meal time. Any leftovers are tasty served cold for the next day or two, with a simply dressed garden salad.

serves 6
V

what you need
1 large or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
(salting may be necessary, see below)
500g sweet potato, cut into 1cm slices
2 large green zucchini, thickly sliced lengthways
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g fresh ricotta
1/2 cup (125ml) basil pesto (see basics page 15)
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
375g packet fresh lasagne sheets
1 cup (80g) parmesan, grated

what you do
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced) and line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Arrange the eggplant, sweet potato and zucchini onto the trays, and drizzle with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Set aside to cool.
2. Steam the spinach until wilted. Refresh in cold water, then drain and squeeze dry. Spread out the leaves. Combine the ricotta and pesto in a bowl.
3. Brush a 30cm x 20cm x 6cm deep (or similar with a 12 cup capacity) ovenproof dish with oil. Spread one cup (250ml) of the tomatoes over the base of the dish. Arrange a layer of lasagne sheets over the tomato, trimming to fit if necessary. Top with a neat layer of zucchini and sweet potato. 
4. Make another layer of lasagne sheets, and spread with another one cup of tomatoes, then the spinach leaves. Make another layer of lasagne sheets, followed by the eggplant slices, the remaining tomato and a final layer of lasagne sheets. Finish with the ricotta mixture, and sprinkle with parmesan.
5. Place a sheet of non-stick baking paper, then a piece of foil over the baking dish (this stops the foil sticking to cheese). Bake for one hour. Remove the baking paper and foil, and cook for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

GF option: Use gluten-free lasagne sheets.

eggplant also known as aubergine, grows on a small bushy plant. The fruit is fleshy, with a meaty texture. It contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible but have a bitter taste. To counteract the bitterness of the seeds, generously sprinkle the sliced fruit in sea salt, let it sit for half an hour, then rinse off salt with cold water, dry with paper towel and use as required. This is only necessary with older, larger fruit which contains many seeds. The thin skin is also edible, so peeling is not necessary. The raw fruit becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, unique flavour.

© Recipe - Naked Food - the way food was meant to be by Jane Grover