Monday, August 30, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Goat Cheese Lasagna

And cooking is back....... Sorry for the mini-vacation everyone! It wasn't so much a vacation as two weeks of work conferences followed by the rush that is ALWAYS August as those of us who work in higher education struggle to get everything done. It's not like we haven't known for three months when they were coming back{note the sarcasm}.... but I digress.

I have rediscovered my love of farmers markets, and have a huge new place in my heart (and wallet) for the Main Market Co-op in Spokane. For those of you on the east side of Washington, I HIGHLY recommend you check out the Co-op. You don't need to be a member to shop (but of course, there are benefits)! Their wines and cheeses are mostly locally sourced, with a ton of variety--and priced at barely over cost. Check it out! I was so blessed that the Goddess of cheese was in the cheese section while I was shopping and guided me to the right goat cheese, a smooth, locally source option that wouldn't overpower the food.

My inspiration for this recipe was from my favorite Spokane restaurant, Mizuna, where I had the most delicious goat cheese lasagna. After some searching on the internet, I combined a number of recipes, and here is the final product! As always, I recommend tasting while you are cooking. There is a reason those Iron Chefs are always doing it! We should too!

1/3 c. vertically sliced onions (I used walla walla sweets from our garden)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 c. olive oil
5 large chopped tomatoes, seeds removed
1/3 c. white wine of your choice (chardonnay is recommended)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp italian seasonings
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Tomato paste

Heat oil over medium high heat. When hot, add garlic and onions. Saute 2-3 minutes until they begin to turn translucent. Add tomato pieces (PLEASE- use fresh tomatoes! Find a friend who has an over abundance of plants, go to the farmers market, just please get fresh, non-shipped all over the US or world. Your taste buds will thank you.) Reduce heat to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add wine and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Add cumin, smoked paprika, italian seasonings, and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook. If sauce looks too think to you, add tomato paste to your liking. Continue to taste and season until you are happy with the flavors. Continue to cook over medium heat for an hour or so. Add fresh herbs at the end in you choose to use them. Leave the sauce cooking while you work on the next stages of prep.

Lasagna ingredients:
1 yellow squash
1 eggplant
1 medium sized zucchini
4 oz goat cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
sauce recipe above

Slice squash, eggplant, and zucchini the long way into 1/4 inch thick strips. Put eggplant on a separate plate and salt. Set aside for 45 minutes to an hour to draw the liquid out of it.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. While eggplant is sitting, place squash on greased jellyroll type pan or large glass baking dish. Baste with olive oil and put salt and pepper on it. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating half way. Remove as squash starts to brown. Leave on pan for 2 minutes after removing from oven. Then, remove from pan and set aside. Continue this with remaining squash and zucchini. Once eggplant has drawn water out, use a towel to soak remaining water out. Then repeat roasting process, but only roast eggplant for 6-8 minutes.

Once you have finished roasting all of the vegetables, grease a 8 by 8 glass pan. Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of vegetables on top. Think of the veggies like noodles, which we aren't using in this recipe. Layer vegetables on top of one another until you cannot see the bottom of the pan. Then, add goat cheese, covering the layer. On top, add another layer of vegetables until you can no longer see the cheese under it. Then finish with the remaining sauce. Cook in oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow lasagna to rest for 15 minutes before you dive in.



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