I know I've been swamping you with zucchini recipes but I truly can't help it. As soon as I cook off a few zucchinis, five more are ready to pick!
We've been giving them away, cooking them up, freezing what we can.....just trying to keep up!
I'm not complaining, no way - I love having fresh veggies coming out of the garden regularly. But have you noticed I've been missing from blogland lately? That's why! I'm spending my spare time processing veggies for the freezer instead of writing new posts and visiting all my blog friends....sorry!
Soon enough the veggie production will slow down and I'll be moving on to other things. But for now, my mind is focused on not wasting a single veggie.
I've been loving the experiments I've tried so far, but you know what? Sometimes I have a fail. It just can't be helped.
This started off that way, but I was able to salvage the recipe and really turn it into something fabulous....and even simpler than it started off. Easy peasy, my favorite.
I began by slicing and roasting a bunch of veggies. Zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
Not to mention, two heads of garlic. If you have never roasted garlic, you don't know what you're missing! It's so simple - cut off the top, plop it on a square of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil....roast at 375 for at least 45 minutes. Yummmmm!
Aren't those just gorgeous tomatoes? They are heavenly just popped into the mouth out in the garden, warm from the sun....but when roasted take on an entire new dimension of flavor.
The veggies were roasted along with the garlic in a 375 degree oven, for about 40 minutes. While they were roasting, I made a big batch of bechamel sauce.
Bechamel is super simple to make, and it makes a wonderful creamy layer in lasagna. I gave you a tutorial on how I make my garlic bechamel in this post last year - however, this time I left out the garlic as I was planning on using the roasted garlic in the sauce.
I added the caramelized cloves of roasted garlic to the thickened, nearly finished bechamel and gave it a good whisk around. Some freshly ground pepper and sea salt and the bechamel is a thing of beauty, ready to use.
All was going well until I sampled one of the roasted zucchinis - and the skins, while very tender when raw, had become tough when cooked! The yellow squash was the same - both were not going to work in my lasagna - oh no, what will I do now?
I decided to experiment with a zucchini tomato basil sauce for the bottom layer. I threw pieces of raw zucchini into the food processor with canned crushed tomatoes and a handful of basil leaves. I did half a zucchini at a time, with half a can of tomatoes.
A quick zip around and I had the perfect base layer for my lasagna - problem solved...whew!
It was time to start building the layers. I started with the zucchini tomato basil sauce.
A healthy sprinkle of grated Parmesan and some fresh ground pepper went on top of the sauce.
Next up was a layer of Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles. What did we do before these super simple noodles? I remember years ago having to boil the lasanga noodles first, which added another step....and another pot to wash - no, thank you!
Next came the roasted garlic Bechamel. Can you just see how lovely that sauce is? Hard to believe I use fat free milk in it, but it doesn't make a bit of difference in the end result, so why not? It's always good to save a few calories when you can.
On top of the bechamel went some shredded part skim mozzarella....
...and another layer of noodles.
Now comes the gorgeousness. On top of the noodles went roasted peppers, onions, and those glorious tomatoes.
I'm drooling as I'm typing this. Seriously.
I'm just about out of noodles at this point, so I had to make do with one noodle for the top layer on two of the smaller lasagnas. Oh well, it will be fine - nobody will notice under all the cheese, trust me.
Now - the rest of the bechamel, a healthy sprinkle of parmesan, and some freshly ground pepper.
Can you see the mess I make when I'm cooking? Another reason I like to make multiples for the freezer....one mess, one cleanup, but 4 amazing meals.
Another handful of shredded mozzarella and this lasagna is ready to go into the oven!
I covered this baking dish with foil and popped it into a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. At that point, the foil came off and I raised the temperature of the oven to 375.
Meanwhile, the other three lasagnas got wrapped, labeled, and put out in the freezer. How awesome will these be on a cold winter's day?
The finished lasagna, right out of the oven.
Oh, wait....are you drooling now, too?
I think this might be my favorite veggie lasagna to date - another successful experiment, although it got off to a rough start!
And I'm so excited to know there are three more in the freezer.
I served the lasagna with a nice crusty, warm Ciabatta loaf and a beautiful Pinot Noir.
Simply amazing. As my daughter would say....YUMZERS!
She's so right. YUMZERS for sure!