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Holiday hosting with roasted vegetable Lasagna

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This is probably one of my longer posts with a lot more pictures and description than usual. I wanted to take the time to elaborate the techniques used in this dish. Lasagna is a dish which takes time to put together but once done, it can provide 10-15 servings. So this dish is very versatile when there is company. Moreover, this dish appeals to all ages, it does not have any bold flavors or tastes and keeps everything mellow and neutral.

Oven roasting vegetables is a technique where vegetables are sliced and baked at high temperature usually 400 to 425 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and seasonings. This method brings out the natural sugars from the vegetables and caramelizes them to a rich brown color and a crisp texture without overcooking them. Some of the vegetables which bode well to oven roasting are eggplant, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, celery, peppers and onions. Adding fresh herbs while roasting, infuses flavor directly to the vegetable layer.When I have some extra time on hand, I oven roast different vegetables and store them in glass dishes in the fridge. This comes very handy to use as needed in lasagna or even a simple sandwich.

Lasagna is a main dish which is both wholesome and satisfying as it combines all the food groups of carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. Recently I chanced upon a green lentil based bake-ready lasagna which means no pre-cooking the lasagna sheets, just use them as is. I gave it a try and was pleased that it came out exceptionally well.

Lasagna can be assembled and kept frozen until ready to bake. It can also be cooked several days in advance and warmed up to serve.

In this preparation, I use eggplant, zucchini, green peppers, celery and red onions. I oven roasted the vegetables with red pepper flakes for heat, rosemary and garlic for flavor.

For the cheese layer, ricotta cheese is typically used but ricotta is a very heavy cheese, so in order to lighten up the dish, I mixed it with whipped cream cheese. This brings a tangy taste which provides a pleasant surprise to the palate instead of just a creamy ricotta note.

I seasoned the cheese layer with a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce, which is used as one of the layers and this provides a common taste blend throughout the dish. Optionally, I may season the cheese layer with salt and red chilly powder. We do like spicy !

So here are the layers – tomato sauce layer (I utilized a good store bought one), pasta layer, vegetable layer and cheese layer. By repeating these layers 3-4 times, we will have a nice hearty lasagna ready to go.

Roasted vegetable Lasagna recipe

Ingredients

For roasting the vegetables –

Procedure –

Roasting Vegetables –

Cheese mixture –

Lasagna preparation –

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