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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna

Posted By Sarma Melngailis On January 26, 2009 @ 6:24 am In Full Recipe List,Recipes / Main Courses,Recipes / Raw | 3 Comments

Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna with basil-pistachio pesto, tomato sauce, and pignoli ricotta (raw)

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. Use the best quality sun-dried tomatoes you can find (but not he kind packed in olive oil, as this is most often not cold-pressed). The brighter ones make for a redder sauce, which will add good, Italian-flag contrast to the dish.

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.”

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 6

For the 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

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

For the 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

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

For the 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

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

For the 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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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).

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