Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zucchini, Feta, and Black Olive Lasagna

I'll admit to falling down on the MoFo job this last week, but I needed to switch my focus from vegan Greek  cuisine to early modern English infanticide. (Don't ask. Or go ahead, but don't say you weren't warned.) That said, I did spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon concocting this lasagna; it turned out so well that there were far fewer leftovers than I'd anticipated, which I chalk up to the happy combination of roasted late-summer zucchini with the brininess of the olives and tofu feta,  Now that fall is finally upon us, it's officially casserole season, so fire up the oven and get busy!

Zucchini, Feta, and Black Olive Lasagna 
~ 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
~ 4-6 green and/or yellow zucchini (I used a combination)
~ 2 large leeks, chopped
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, oregano, basil, chili powder
~ 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
~ Fresh black pepper
~ 1 14 oz. can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
~ 2 tbsp. tomato paste
~ 1 cup chopped black olives
~ 1 cup water
~ 1 recipe tofu feta
~ 2 cups vegan mozzarella, divided (I recommend Daiya or Teese)
~ 3/4 cup nutritional yeast, divided
~ ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
~ 1.5 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1 tbsp. hot sauce (I used Frank's)
~ Dash each: nutmeg, cayenne
~ 1 cup tomato sauce, store-bought or homemade

~ Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
~ In a large bowl, combine the chopped zucchini with 1 tbsp. of the oil and a few grinds each of salt and pepper (I like to do this with my hands).
~ Arrange the zucchini on the baking sheets and cook at 475 for 30-40 minutes, flipping them and switching the pans around at the halfway point. The squash should be tender, browned, and just a little charred. Remove from the oven, and cool to room temperature.
~ In a large skillet, heat the remaining tbsp. of olive oil and sauté the leeks over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until quite soft.
~ Add the garlic, seasonings, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir well and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; add as much of the water as needed to make a thick sauce.
~ Stir in the roasted zucchini and the chopped olives, mix well, and remove from heat.
~ In a large bowl, combine the tofu feta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, fresh parsley, and ¼ cup of the nutritional yeast and mix well.
~ Combine the soy milk, hot sauce, nutmeg, cayenne, and the remaining nutritional yeast and mozzarella in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth cheesy sauce.
~ Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a large casserole with cooking spray.
~ While the oven is heating, ladle 1 cup of tomato sauce in the greased casserole, and arrange sufficient lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the pan (this should 4-5 sheets).
~ Spread the zucchini-tomato-olive filling over the noodles and smooth with a spatula.
~ Carefully top with the feta-mozzarella mixture, spreading it out to cover the filling.
~ Add another layer of lasagna noodles and then pour on the cheesy sauce, being sure to distribute it as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the top with a little paprika, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. (I put a cookie sheet under the casserole to catch any errant drips.)
~ Remove the foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
~ Remove from the oven and allow to rest about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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