Who doesn't love lasagna? Well, maybe there are a few of you out there. Lasagna is typically an arduous process with a multitude of steps that require patience, yet limited cooking skills are actually needed. Of course, you could always take the easy route with "no cook" noodles, jarred tomato sauce, and processed cheese, but that is not the way we do things here at The Crunchy Radish.
TCR zucchini lasagna is a lighter, fresher, good-for-you take on an all time Sunday classic. We removed noodles all together and replaced them with thin strips of zucchini. Jarred sauce? I don't think so. We created a flavorful and robust spicy tomato sauce laced with black olives and chili flakes. For an added punch of complexity we added lemon zest and lemon juice to fresh ricotta and threw in a layer of nutrient-dense kale just to make sure that you get your filling of greens. No doubt about it, this is not a meal you make on a weeknight, but if made on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you can happily enjoy it for a few dinners throughout your busy week ahead.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 5 large zucchini, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsps chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup black olives thinly sliced
- 2 24 oz jars organic crushed tomatoes
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 -1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/2 tbsp organic lemon zest
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 bunch cleaned basil leaves
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If you have a cast iron grill pan, warm over medium high heat.
- Toss zucchini slices in 2 tbsps olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a good grind of pepper. Arrange zucchini on grill pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes a side. You will likely need to do at least 2 batches. If you do not have a grill pan, lay zucchini slices on racks in your oven and cook for 10 minutes. Place cooked zucchini on a plate, reserving for later use. If watery, use a cloth or paper towel to pat dry. You want the zucchini noodles as dry as possible.
- For the sauce, warm 2 tbsps of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chili flakes, onion, and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add oregano, black olives, and tomatoes, simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- While the sauce cooks, lightly sauté kale in a pan with a tsp of olive oil. Squeeze any excess water from the kale and set aside.
- Place fresh ricotta in a bowl and stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little pepper.
- Using a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, assemble the lasagna. Spread a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, add a layer of zucchini, gently spread some lemon ricotta, add a little torn basil leaves, half the kale, and another layer of tomato sauce. Repeat 2 to 3 times, topping the final layer with shredded mozzarella. Reserve some torn basil for serving.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and enjoy.