Everyday it seems there is a mysterious bag, basket or pile of zucchini (zucchine in Italian) by my door. These things must multiply like….. Wait – you already heard this! Remember recipe 1!
Thank you subscriber Karen T. for reminding me about the vegetarian lasagna of my earlier life. Le zucchine, grilled, becomes the best lasagna noodle. I don’t have a griddle – only a big frying pan. First step slice the zucchine long ways – of course I ignore all the safety cutting rules I learned in 4-H and to make the thin slice pull that knife right towards my chest – don’t do that.
Tossed some of our heavenly local EVOO in the frying pan and after what felt like I had been standing on my feet for hours – enough were done.
Since the oil was still hot I sliced up due melanzane – egg plant – and did those too. Note that I did them after I did the zucchine. Jack lumps eggplant with tofu as the two things that give him the food creeps. God forbid una melanzana touch the zucchine!
For filling I dumped 500 grams of ricotta in a bowl, tossed in a egg, a bunch of grated parmesan, splash of pepper, fresh basil and oregano. Stirred it up and called it art.
Stupidly, I had oiled my baking dish, then looked at the zucchine which had been essentially slathered in oil, grabbed a paper towel and wiped out the dish. Next, I laid down a layer of zucchine and with panache glopped and spread the ricotta mixture.
My burnt fingers reminded me that I had just roasted red peppers and had an ah ha moment.
I added a layer of red pepper for color. OK, time for a layer of mozzarella – shit we don’t have any. Some days you win and some days you just have fun.
Creative a pinch of this and dash of that cooks use what they have. I had great local cheese – cows milk integrated with hot peppers.
Remembering that it melted well on a panino, I grated it up. Tossed it on top of the red peppers and then added a second layer of zucchine slices.
Followed that with the requisite ricotta mixture and thought – I need another red layer to artistically balance the red peppers. Hey, we bought super Spanish salame at the salumeria – I don’t think it was from Spain but they call it Spanish. The salame is crusted in black pepper. OK, so this isn’t a vegetarian dish – but you don’t have to use salame.
A layer of that, more ricotta, grated cheese and then – shit – I don’t have enough zucchine for a complete top layer. How could that be, I have bushels of zucchine? Oh, yeah, I got tired of standing by the frying pan.
Thinking quickly, I eyed the eggplant, if I put some in the middle and cut Jack’s slice from the edge would he know that his precious zucchine might have egg plant kooties? I just won’t mention it and use tons of grated cheese on top to disguise the critters.
Rats, can see the eggplant – but will Jack?
Applause! Buon appetito, Jack. (Wink, Wink)