Archive for the 'kosher' Category

13
Aug
13

Grilled Banana Satay


[Shmuel L, from Miami, sent us a favorite grilling recipe just over 10 days ago. Now, he sent us another one, accompanied by a photo as well]

Grilled Banana Satay

BanaSata

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 4 fat, peeled, barely ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Light a grill for direct medium heat, about 400 F.
  2. Slice the banans crosswise into medallions 1 to 2 inches thick. Skewer the banana pieces through the edges so that the flat sides can be grilled, threading 6 to 8 pieces per skewer.
  3. Whisk together the peanut butter, coconut milk, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Pour half of the peanut butter sauce into a wide shallow pan.
  4. Brush the grill grate with oil. Grill the banana skewers directly over the heat until nicely grill-marked. 2 to 3 minutes per side. Dip the flat sides of the bananas in the peanut sauce. Sprinkle with the coconut to coat. Return to the grill and cook until lightly brown. 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with the remaining sauce for dipping.

TIP - Just like meats, fruits can be marinated to create myriad variations in flavor, the can be rubbed, eaten with sauces, glazed and more BUT make sure the bananas are just barely ripe or they’ll become mushy when grilled.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

Shmuel L.

05
Aug
13

Beef Salad with Mango


While you may not always have the time to prepare a hearty meal for the family, you can plan ahead thereby serving a nice feast that only took a short time to heat and serve. The following recipe is adapted from: Williams-Sonoma‘s FoodMadeFast: Make Ahead

Beef Salad with Mango

Detail of photo by: Bill Bettencourt, from Williams-Sonoma's FoodMadeFast: Make Ahead

Detail of photo by: Bill Bettencourt, from Williams-Sonoma‘s FoodMadeFast: Make Ahead, on page 68-69

Serves 4

Prepare a large roast and you’ll have enough extra beef for at least two more meals. The roast has a smokiness that enhances the flavor of a sweet and spicy salad, a beef hash and a spicy Thai curry.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups (4 ounces) mixed greens
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, slivered

Directions

  1. Roast the beef – Preheat the oven to 350 F. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and place in a shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably. Roast, tuning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the beef reads 130 F. for medium rare (about 80 minutes), or until the desired level of doneness. Transfer to a carving board and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  2. Assemble the salad – Thinly slice 4 portions of the beef, reserving the remaining beef for other meals .* Cut each slice into strips. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lime zest, and juice. Whisk in the canola and sesame oils. Add the beef, mango, bell pepper, and shallot and toss evenly with the vinaigrette. Divide the greens among individual plates and top with the beef-mango mixture. Sprinkle with mint and serve.

Makes about 4 1/2 pounds of sliced or shredded beef total.

* Storage Tip

To store the remaining beef, let the roast cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. For the most succulent and tender results, do not slice the chilled beef until ready to serve. To slice, use a chef’s or other large, sharp knife, and thinly slice against the grain.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

04
Aug
13

Honey-Lacquered Hens and Pears


It’s summertime and the grilling season, with its delicious aromas and promises of succulent treats. Poultry has long been a favorite on the grill. A reader, Shmuel L, from Miami sent us this recipe and photo, he writes that he stumbled upon it two summers ago, and it’s been a family favorite since:

Honey-Lacquered Hens and Pears

HoneyLackHen

Ingredients

  • 2 long metal skewers
  • 1/2 cup honey marinade *
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 2 game hens (about 2 pounds each) washed
  • 2 just barely ripe Bartlett pears, cored
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • Lavender blossoms for garnishing (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine the Marinade, dried lavender, and game hens in a 1 gallon zipper lock bag, press out the air and seal. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Light a grill for direct low heat, about 250 F.
  3. Remove the hens from the marinade and part dry, discard the marinade.
  4. Tie the ends of the drumsticks together. Coat the hens and the pears with with the oil. Arrange on skewers so that each hen is pierced from the shoulder to the leg  and add a pear at each end, thereby making it possible to turn everything at once.
  5. Brush the grill grate with oil. Grill until the game hens become lightly charred all the way around and the temperature on an instant read thermometer shows 165 F (about 45 to 60 minutes). Turn the skewers every 12 minutes or so.
  6. Meanwhile, mix together honey, vanilla extract, and Sriracha.
  7. Cut the game hens in half. Arrange each hen and pear half on a plate and drizzle with the honey-vanilla mixture. Garnish with the lavender blossoms for a dramatic presentation.

* Honey Marinade

Yields 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ground pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk together mustard, honey, vinegar, and oil. Season with pepper. Left over marinade will keep in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

Shmuel L.

02
Aug
13

Detox Kosher Style – Delicious Summer Berry Smoothies


[Today we present a new guest poster, Lisa Yeoman. After graduating in Food and Nutritional Sciences, she began working as a nutritionist before becoming a mother. Now she works from home as a freelance writer who covers topics as diverse as the latest in health research, green food production, family nutrition and health, living with conditions and health education. CS]

Mmmm, summertime! The perfect season for pool parties and sitting out in the radiant sun, as well as enjoying some terrific kosher food. The great thing about kosher food is that it can accommodate virtually everyone’s tastes, whether it is a tangy lemon egg soup or savory samosa. Not only incredibly delicious, kosher offers a large selection of meals which provide as much nutrition as they fulfill the palette, and today we are going to take a look at a great recipe which also boasts another massive health benefit and is an excellent way to cleanse the body and celebrate the hot summer months: the detox berry smoothie.

Kosher for Goodness & Health

Detox might be a slightly loaded word for a kosher meal, but one of the many benefits that the kosher culture has to offer is one which holds advantages for everyone. A kosher diet is one which strives for healthy living while also providing an essential opportunity for various communities to pull together and celebrate, and it is also enjoying the important role of reaching out and helping people in need too. With nutrition forming an important component not only in identifying part of a person’s well-being, this article highlights some of the ways in which food plays a vital role in recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Implementing a well-rounded diet has become a crucial part of recovery programs from alcohol to food to opiate addiction recovery, and outreach programs in the Jewish community. The benefits of a kosher detox recipe involve ingredients which will replenish the body with the right amount of vitamins and minerals, all combined for a refreshing, delicious, and easy meal. It’s delicious and serves the greater good!

Smooth Operator

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by: Romuald Bokėj from Sweden

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by: Romuald Bokėj from Sweden

Smoothies are one of the best selections for a relaxing, inexpensive snack containing high nutritional value beneficial to everyone – let’s face it, at one time or another everyone could do with a good detox regardless of diet. A fruit smoothie is ideal for its versatility – you can add, swap, and improvise to your heart’s content – and it’s very difficult to go wrong. Now is the best time of year to buy fruit in its prime, and preparation is minimal. It’s become a household staple for many, and taken off with a blast on the commercial cuisine circuit with several restaurants, bars, and cafes opening their menus up to the luscious drink as well as entire franchises operating in devotion to a multitude of flavors which covers a scale of diverse international influences.

Berry smoothies in particular are very adaptable – unlike most fruit, berries can be frozen and even used right from freezer to blender instead of using ice. For a delectable treat sure to please, here is your detox berry smoothie (approx. two servings):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • Half a medium-sized banana
  • Half a tablespoon ground flax seed
  • Half a cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 6-8 ounces orange juice

Preparation:

Put berries, banana, flax seed and yogurt into a blender, adding about 4 ounces of orange juice. Mix on a high setting while adding orange juice to reach a smooth consistency. When finished, add a few fresh berries and/or orange slices and serve.

Alternatives:

For something a little more exotic, swap the cup of frozen berries for a cup of frozen pineapple, and add 4 ounces of orange juice and 4 ounces of light coconut milk using the same measurements for banana, flax seed, and Greek yogurt. Bananas and Greek yogurt can be replaced with a few green leaves as well. Double the ingredients for multiple servings and enjoy!

Seasoned Delight

This recipe is perfect for several occasions, whether it is for guests by the pool to cool off on a hot day or a healthy snack during winter, it is a great detox for the body without losing any flavor. No need to stop at the berry patch, though – as mentioned above, there are several other recipes to enjoy as well, perfect year-round. Mango, apple, grape, kiwi, even peanut butter make excellent treats which children and adults alike can appreciate and get the daily required fill of nutrients, and it can be savored at morning, noon, or night. In fact, according to the above source, smoothies are even better than multi-vitamins. Get your shake on today and create a snack bound to become a favorite!

Enjoy!

Lisa Yeoman

28
Jul
13

Even More Adult Drinks!


We received numerous requests to post more adult drinks; I found these in Michael SchwartzGenuine Food, having tried them with some friends, I can attest they are absolutely delicious:

Passion Fruit Soda

Photo by: Ben Fink - on page 218

Photo by: Ben Fink – page 218


SERVES 2 – This combo was born out the remake of a classic cocktail, the Hurricane. Passion fruit adds a tropical flavor and I just love the crunch of the seeds. The result is a tantalizing and refreshing mix using one of South Florida’s most delicious fruits.

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) fresh passion fruit pulp and seeds
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) agave nectar
  • Ginger ale
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Stir together the passion fruit, orange juice, lime juice and agave in a measuring cup

Fill 2 highball glasses with ice and divide the fruit mixture between them, Top each off with ginger ale. Garnish with mint sprigs.

xOx-xOx-xOx

Bulletproof Manhattan

Photo by: Ben Fink - page 223

Photo by: Ben Fink – page 223


Serves 2 - I’m a bourbon drinker, and this reinvented classic cocktail shows of my favorite whiskey in style.  I replace the typically used sweet vermouth with the deep sweet-and-sour flavor of cherries, balanced by the spicy undertone of fresh rosemary and warmth of good bourbon.

  • One 8 ounce jar Amarena Italian cherries or any quality jarred or canned cherries in syrup *
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig, plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) bourbon **
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Strain the cherry syrup into a small pot and add 1/2 cup water. Toss in the rosemary and place over medium heat.  Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, remove from the heat, and let the rosemary steep in the cherry syrup and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 to 2 days.

Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of the cherry syrup in a shaker with ice; shake it up really well to break the ice into shards.  Strain the cocktail into 2 chilled martini glasses. Spear a couple of cherries each on 2 rosemary sprigs and use to garnish the cocktail.

xOx-xOx-xOx

* I could not find Amarena cherries with an hechsher in my Brooklyn neighborhood; I used Maraschino cherries, which did have an hechsher, instead.
** I used Evan Williams as the bourbon.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

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25
Jul
13

Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Strawberries


While looking for easy to prepare,  nice summer salads, we came across this one in Williams Sonoma‘s New Flavors for Salads – Classic Flavors Redefined:

Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Strawberries

From book, page 37 - Photo by: Kate Sears

From book, page 37 – Photo by: Kate Sears

The flavor of this salad sparkles with the bright acidity of red wine vinegar, its tartness tempered by the sweetness of fresh orange juice. Roasting strawberries with a bit of sugar intensifies their fruitiness and softens their texture, creating a nice counterpoint to the salty cheese and crunchy toasted almonds.

Ingredients

  • large strawberries, 2 pints (1 pound total weight)
  • extra-virgin olive oil, 8 tablespoons
  • sugar, 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup
  • fresh tarragon leaves, 4 teaspoons finely chopped
  • blanched whole almonds, 1 cup toasted *
  • baby spinach, 9 cups
  • pecorino romano cheese, 9 ounces shredded

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Using a pairing knife, hull the strawberries** and cut them in half lengthwise. Spread the berries on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with with 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat the berries evenly, then spread them out again. Roast until softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small nonreactive bowl, whisk together the vinegar, or orange juice, tarragon, the 3 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil until well blended to make a vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

In a small bowl, stir together the almonds and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, combine the spinach, 3/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine, drizzle about one-third of it over the spinach and toss well (reserve the remaining vinaigrette for another use). Taste and adjust the seasonings. Divide the dressed spinach evenly among individual plates, top each serving with an equal amount of the roasted strawberries, and sprinkle with the almonds and cheese. Serve right away.

Makes 6 servings

* toasting nuts and seeds

Toasting nuts and seeds crisps their texture and lightly browns them, giving them a rich full flavor. Be sure to let toasted nuts and seeds cool to room temperature before use.

in the oven Scatter the nuts or seeds in an even layer in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 325 F. oven stirring once or twice, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color , 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the nuts or seeds.

on the stove top Place the nuts or seeds in an even layer in a frying pan. Toast over medium heat , stirring or shaking the pan often, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 2-5 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the nuts or seeds.

** hulling strawberries

Hull fresh strawberries after washing them and just before use.

  1. Insert the tip of a pairing knife – Insert the sharp tip of a pairing knife at a slight angle just below the stem areauntil the tip of the knife reaches the center of the berry.
  2. Trim and pull off the top – Cut around the stem area, rotating the berry to make a circular cut. Gently pull or pry off the top.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

23
Jul
13

Sòlo – Revisited


We’ve reviewed Sòlo in its prior incarnation (here, and here), so why are we reviewing it again? Sòlo (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800 – in the atrium of the SONY building), has reinvented itself as a dairy restaurant. We liked it as a meat eatery, now it changed… We had more than enough confidence in Prime Hospitality Group‘s Corporate Chef David Kolotkin so we decided to give it a try and see what a former meat restaurant turned dairy could do…

SYR had an out of town guest, whose home cooking is the stuff legends are made of (I should know, I’ve stayed in their guest house many a time over the years!), and she came with me. We chose a busy time, on a busy night, with last minute reservations to best test the service. As soon as we were assigned a table, we found ourselves in the able hands of Eka Halim, waiter extraordinaire!

kosher-scene-copyright-copy21

Fritto Misto all' Italiana

Fritto Misto all’ Italiana

We started our repast with Fritto Misto all’ Italiana, an assorted plate of rice balls, potato croquettes, eggplant and zucchini served with a trio of unique dipping sauces. The tastes were subtle yet definite, the sauces, rather than overpowering, introduced nice variations; we both loved it!

We segued with Big Eye Tuna Tartare - a raw big eye tuna, local farmed apples, roasted pine nuts, marinated in a red wine vinaigrette, served chilled – and Branzino Carpaccio…

Branzino Carpaccio

Branzino Carpaccio

…it consisted of raw, thinly sliced white fish, citrus  salt and capers, drizzled with an artisanal imported Italian olive oil and squeezed lemon.

Both were scrumptious; it was obvious the combination of ingredients was done with as much attention, as much focus on the final result, as the old master painters of the Renaissance put into the mixing of their colors!

Next we tried Eggplant Parmeggiana, slow baked alternating layers of eggplant with tomato sauce, parmesan and daily homemade mozzarella. Every ingredient shone on its own as well as a member of a well choreographed ballet on my palate. Wooow!

Before trying the pastas we had a Warm Goat Cheese Salad, with hazelnut crusted goat cheese croquette, arugula, roasted beet medley, caramelized local market pears, haricots verts drizzled with a red wine vinaigrette. Superbly balanced flavors. We segued into Rigatoni alla Carbonara Vegetariana

Rigatoni alla Carbonara Vegetariana

Rigatoni alla Carbonara Vegetariana

The rigatoni pasta came with with zucchini, garden basil, imported pecorino romano cheese, eggs, cracked black pepper and cream. Richly flavorful!

We followed with Homemade Truffle & Butternut Squash Ravioli, with truffle Parmesan sauce and sliced black truffle…

Homemade Truffle and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Homemade Truffle and Butternut Squash Ravioli

…the Parmesan sauce gave it all a superb taste without overpowering anything else!

Risotto al Pesto was Chef David’s next choice for us…

Risotto al Pesto

Risotto al Pesto

This delicate, aromatic risotto came with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and haricot verts. Excellent, is an understatement!

Fettucini alla Puttanesca came next….

Fettuccine alla Puttanesca

Fettuccine alla Puttanesca

Fresh homemade fettuccine with imported olives, capers, garlic and grape tomatoes, t’was a true masterpiece in taste and in looks.

Penne alla Vodka was our next dish…

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka

It came with tomato sauce, onions, cherry tomatoes  and romano cheese. Probably the best Penne alla Vodka I ever had.

Fish came next, considering that a mere three and a half years ago I could still honestly say I never tasted fish, I learned to appreciate the creatures rather fast. In rapid succession we devoured Wild Smoked Salmon and Mozzarella, Tuna Filet Pepper Verde and a Chilean Sea Bass Scallopini.

The wild salmon came in an avocado puree, with homemade mozzarella in a balsamic reduction; there is hardly anything as delicious as fresh salmon. The tuna filet was served with green pepper crusted big eye tuna steak, Dijon mustard, cream and a vodka reduction. The sea bass dish consisted of thinly sliced Chilean sea bass sauteed with lemon, white wine, capers, sundried tomatoes, parsley, basil and shallots. All three were a testament to the Chef’s artistry.

We washed this massive feast down with a Herzog Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, as suggested by – our waiter - Eka. Though it is a native California wine, its style is very French; it exhibits currant, berry, and cherry combined with a delightful earthy minerality. Its tannins are soft, smooth and well balanced, culminating in a long elegant finish.

We capped the meal with a Tiramisu, again it was obvious that while we had expected a delicious meal, we got a very memorable royal feast!

There is no question I’ll be coming back again and again!

CS

15
Jul
13

Avgolemono – Lemon Egg Soup


I first discovered this Greek Avgolemono Soup, in the ’70s, while living in Tel Aviv and it has appeared on our table countless times since:

Avgolemono Soupa

Avgolemono

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 cups fish stock * (I’ve always used chicken stock, but I’ve adapted this recipe here to comply with the requirements for the 9 Days)
  • 1/3 cup orzo
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • white pepper

Directions

  1. Bring stock to the boil,  add orzo and salt to taste. Stir until the stock starts boiling again. Cover and simmer for about 18 minutes or until rice or the orzo  is tender.
  2. In a bowl beat egg whites until stiff, add yolks and beat until light and creamy. Gradually beat in lemon juice.
  3. Ladle about a quarter of the simmering soup into the eggs, whisking constantly.
  4. Slowly add the egg mixture to the soup, while stirring vigorously. Remove soup from heat. Continue stirring for 1 minute as you adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.

* Fish Stock

Yields: 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 pounds bones and heads of fish such as sole, flounder, cod, halibut, chopped
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally, until golden, (6 to 8 minutes).
  2. Add chopped fish, water, vinegar, peppercorns, and salt and bring to a boil, skimming froth, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.
  3. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any fat. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, before skimming fat (it will be easier to remove when cool).

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

12
Jul
13

Bruschetta, for Breakfast or Brunch


Bruschetta is a traditional italian garlic bread made by rubbing slices of roasted bread with garlic cloves, and then drizzling the bread with extra-virgin olive oil. The bread is salted and peppered, heated and served warm.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • Italian Cheese *
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices Italian Bread, toasted to serve **
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Directions

  1. Mix the tomato, scallions, cheese, avocado, balsamic vinegar and half of the oil together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Drizzle the remaining oil over the bread and top the tomato mixture. Garnish with basil and serve at once.

I’ve used different Italian cheeses, at different times, from TheCheeseGuy.com. His Lo Spadone and the Formagio Marzolino were my favorites. However, I’ve also been very pleased with Bastardo del Grappa, the Montaggio or any of the Pecorinos. Each cheese contributes its own character, each one creates a different mood, all are delightful!

** Whenever I can find it, I’ll use Ciabatta bread, though I’ve also used Focaccia (it’s much easier to find), and when I could find neither I’ve used Marsigliese (popularly known as Italian Bread).

Easy to prepare, delicious to the palate, a perfect way to start a dairy meal, so… enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

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09
Jul
13

Lasagne alle Verdure – Vegetable Lasagna


Few Italian dishes have seen more variations than Lasagna, each one is delicious, each one has a distinct character.

From The Big Book of Pasta, published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2007:

Lasagne alle Verdure – Vegetable Lasagna

From The Big Book of Pasta, published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2007 - Photo on page 258

Detail from photo on page 258

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 eggplants sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups strained tomatoes
  • 6 ounces dried no-precook lasagna sheets
  • 2 1/2 cups Béchamel Sauce *
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmegiano cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush a large ovenproof dish with olive oil.. Brush a large grill pan with olive oil and heat until smoking. Add half the eggplants and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Remove from the grill pan and drain on paper towels. Add the remaining eggplant slices and extra oil, if necessary, and cook for 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic, zuchini, parsley and marjoram. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the zucchini are golden brown. remove from the skillet and let drain on paper towels.
  3. Layer the eggplants, zuchini, grated mozzarella, strained tomatoes, and lasagna sheets in the dish; season with salt and pepper as you finish with a layer of lasagna. Pour over the Béchamel Sauce, making sure all the pasta is covered. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese and bake in the preheated oven 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately

* Béchamel Sauce

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (for a more Italian flavor, add ground nutmeg instead)

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden, sandy color, about 7 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in milk until thickened by the roux. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the flour has softened and not longer tastes gritty, 10 to 20 minutes, then season with salt and pepper (or nutmeg).

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS




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