Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna

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We like the vibrant color and tart flavor of green zebra tomatoes, a heirloom variety, for this dish. Of course you can use any tomatoes, preferably heirloom.

Ingredients

Pignoli Ricotta
2 cups raw pignoli (pine) nuts, soaked for 1 hour or more
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons filtered water

Tomato Sauce
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours or more
1 small to medium tomato, diced
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice|
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch of hot pepper flakes

Basil-Pistachio Pesto
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Assembly
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 medium green zebra tomatoes (or other heirloom variety), cut in half and then sliced
Whole basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

Pignoli Ricotta

  1. Place the pignoli nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until throughly combined.
  2. Gradually add the water and process until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta

Tomato Sauce

  1. Squeeze and drain as much of the water out of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes as you can.
  2. Add the drained tomatoes to a high-speed blender with he remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Basil-Pistachio Pesto

  1. Place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined but still slightly chunky.

Assembly

  1. 1 Cut the zucchini crosswise in half, or into 3-inch lengths. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with a layer of zucchini slices, each one slightly overlapping another. Spread about 1/3 of the tomato sauce over it and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using about 1/3 of the tomato sauce over it and top with a small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using about 1/3 of each. Layer on about 1/3 of the tomato slices. Add another layer of zucchini slices and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, “ricotta,” pesto, and tomato slices. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil leaves.
  3. Alternatively, to make individual servings, place about 3 zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, in the center of each serving plate, to make a square shape. Spread tomato sauce over the zucchini, top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto and a few small tomato slices. Repeat twice more. Garnish with basil leaves. Any leftover lasagna, whether made in a tray or individually, will taste great if kept in the refrigerator for at least a day or more, but it won’t look as good (which doesn’t matter if you’re standing by yourself and eating it directly from the refrigerator, as we’ve been known to do at home).

Notes

The first real raw food dish that we ever prepared was a rougher version of this. It has since become the best-selling dish on our restaurant menu and is a perfect introduction for anyone trying raw foods for the first time. The flavors and textures are all familiar, and the vibrant nature of the dish always leaves a strong impression. Many variations on this are possible. Feel free to add marinated wild mushrooms or substitute summer squash for zucchini. As in so many other dishes, the quality, seasonality and freshness of the ingredients are the most important elements.”

Sarma MelngailisAbout Sarma Melngailis

Sarma Melngailis is the Proprietor and Co-Founder of NYC’s premier raw and vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine. She is also the Founder and CEO of One Lucky Duck, Holdings LLC, which operates the One Lucky Duck brand. This includes the company’s online boutique, www.oneluckyduck.com, which offers carefully selected products all in support of living a raw, vegan, organic and eco- friendly lifestyle. One Lucky Duck also carries its own line of snack products all made and packaged by hand at Pure Food and Wine. These are sold at oneluckyduck.com and in the restaurant’s own One Lucky Duck takeaway and retail shop, as well as its more recently opened One Lucky Duck across town in Manhattan’s famous Chelsea Market. Sarma is the co-author of Raw Food/Real World (Harper Collins, 2005), a book of recipes, practical advice and the story of how she made the change to a raw and vegan diet. Her second book with Harper Collins, Living Raw Food, was published in June 2009. Living Raw Food includes even more raw vegan recipes, as well as information and advice on how to successfully maintain a raw food diet after a number of years. Sarma is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute. She holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She worked in investment banking and private equity before beginning her career in the food world.

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