Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
My husband Lulu has become such a garden expert over the years. This morning he harvested over 2 pounds of zebra striped zucchini in our garden, which left me almost speechless. I wasn’t expecting to make a zucchini dish today, but that’s half the fun of having your own vegetable garden!
I decided to prepare a vegetarian zucchini lasagna. The dish consists of three elements: a creamy béchamel sauce, an enormous amount of pan-fried zucchini and my special lasagna sheets from my Haute Potato cookbook. Instead of using regular lasagna pasta sheets, I used homemade gnocchi dough flattened into long thin sheets. When writing Haute Potato, I really tried to think outside the box and came up with a few potato recipes that I believe haven't been created before. If you don't have time, you can always substitute with the store-bought regular lasagna sheets. But if you have time to cook during this long Memorial Day weekend, give my Haute Potato recipe a try; rest assured your efforts will be rewarded.
Yields: 8 servings18 (5-inch) squares pre-rolled "potato" lasagna sheets (order the book for the recipe), pre-boiled
2 pounds zebra zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 sprig fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
1 teaspoon store-bought no-salt seasoning (blend of 21 spices and herbs)
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1½ cups Emmentaler cheese, freshly grated
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
7 cups milk, warm
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ cup sweet basil leaves, freshly snipped
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the béchamel sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat; you don't want it to burn. Add the thyme and oregano and let the fresh herbs infuse in the butter. Bring the heat back up to medium-high (the butter should be hot and golden) and add the flour. Keep stirring manually with a whisk until the mixture is even. Make sure the flour and butter form a paste and let cook for 3-4 minutes to prevent an unpleasant raw-flour taste. Add 6 cups milk in 3 stages and stir well until fully incorporated. Increase the heat and continue stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add ½ cup each of cheese and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Let rest while preparing the zucchini.
Preparing the zucchini: Trim and slice the zucchini crosswise, about ½-inch thick. In a large non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the zucchini slices. Pan-fry them until golden. Toss well and cook for about 5 minutes. Once the slices are nicely golden, lower the heat, add lemon zest and season with no-salt seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes until softened, stirring frequently.
Check the consistency of the béchamel sauce. Thin the sauce with 1 cup warm milk. Stir well.
In a (10 x 15 x 2") oblong baking dish sprayed with oil (for easy clean up), spread a layer of béchamel sauce first, then layer 6 sheets of the pre-boiled lasagna sheets. Spread a layer of zucchini slices. Sprinkle with cheese and a few tablespoons chopped basil and parsley. Spread 2 to 3 ladles of the béchamel sauce, then add another 6 sheets of lasagna. Repeat the same layers until all the ingredients are used up. Finish with the rest of the béchamel sauce. It should cover the whole tray; top with the remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 35-minutes at 375°F (until golden brown).
When it's cooked, remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Cut into squares.
I used zebra zucchini from our garden but regular zucchini work just as well!
I used Costco brand organic no-salt seasoning.
The easiest way to grate Emmentaler is to place is in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to cutting it.
And if you're a pasta lover, check out my other pasta dishes.Published By: on May 27, 2013.