Late Summer Vegetable Lasagna

October 16, 2009

Mo:le restaurant's Cosmo Meens proves that totally raw, vegetarian lasagna can taste really good, thanks to the bounty of late summer vegetables. Serves 6

ZUCCHINI NOODLES
4 to 5 medium zucchini
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar for each layer
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for each layer

ZUCCHINI NOODLES: Slice zucchini thinly lengthwise, using a knife or a mandoline. Individual lasagnas will each require 4 to 8 slices of zucchini, depending on the size of zucchini; for six servings, prepare 24 to 48 slices. In a flat, non-reactive pan 9 x 13 inches, lay out slices of zucchini in a layer to cover the bottom. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 Tbsp oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat until you have used up all the zucchini. Cover and leave at room temperature for a few hours. (For extra flavour, place the marinated zucchini in a dehydrator or grill, though then the dish will no longer be raw.) Refrigerate until needed.

SPICED WALNUTS
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 cups walnuts
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp Celtic sea salt or fleur de sel
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil

SPICED WALNUTS: Place carrots, red pepper and tomatoes in a food processor and pulse. Add walnuts and pulse again until everything is all minced together. Transfer to a bowl. Place chili powder, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and sea salt in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder, then grind into powder. Stir the spice powder, vinegar and oil into the walnut mixture. Refrigerate until needed.

MARINARA SAUCE
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes
2 cups bottled spring water
5 large Medjool dates, pitted
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp roughly chopped oregano leaves

MARINARA SAUCE: Soak sun-dried tomatoes in water to cover for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft. Drain and discard soaking water. Place sun-dried tomatoes, spring water, dates, garlic, tomatoes, vinegar, salt, paprika (optional), black pepper and cayenne pepper (optional) in a blender and process at high speed. If your blender is struggling, you may need to add a touch more water. Stir in oregano, then refrigerate until needed.

PARSLEY SALSA
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt or Fleur de sel

PARSLEY SALSA: Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed and slightly chunky.

FILLING
1 Tbsp finely chopped oregano
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, Cut into a total of 18 slices
6 calendulas or other edible flowers (optional)

TO SERVE: Remove all of the lasagna ingredients from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Lay one large or two small overlapping zucchini strips on each plate. Sprinkle with oregano and parsley. Spread about 3 Tbsp of the spiced walnut mixture evenly along the centre of the zucchini, leaving a little space on each side. Arrange another layer of zucchini on top, then spoon the marinara sauce along the centre, leaving a little space on each side. Next, add a layer of three slices of tomato. Repeat the layering process, minus tomato slices, until all the zucchini has been used. Place a dollop of parsley salsa on top. Season with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with a calendula (optional).

WINE RECOMMENDATION
Joie Farm Wines Rosé

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