Grilled Vegetable Lasagna


For the Grilled Vegetables:

2 Large Zucchini
2 large Yellow Squash
2 Medium/Small Eggplants
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flake
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Fresh Chopped Parsley

For the Marinara Sauce:

3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Yellow Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Medium Carrots
2 Bay Leaves
1 Pound Crimini Mushrooms
1 Cup White Wine, I used Sauvignon Blanc
2 Large cans of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Basil
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Parsley

For the Lasagna:

2 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 Box Frozen Spinach, thawed
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8 slices fresh Mozzarella Cheese


Preheat the oven to 350.

Wash the zucchini, summer squash and eggplant. Cut off the ends, and slice each vegetable in 1/4 inch pieces. Put the slices in a large bowl. To make the marinade combine all of the spices, along with the vinegar. Slowly stream in the olive oil as you whisk rapidly to ensure that the oil mixes with the vinegar. Chop the parsley and add it to the dressing. Give it a whisk. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss completely. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Several hours would be better.

Meanwhile, make the marinara sauce. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Chop the onion and garlic, and saute in the pot with a little olive oil. About 3 tablespoons. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent and just barely caramelized. Chop the carrots and add them, stirring and continuing to cook for another 4-6 minutes. Toss in the bay leaves.

Rub the mushrooms clean, remove the stems, and slice them. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and saute along with the veggies, until the mushrooms are browned. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Stir constantly, picking up the drippings from the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer and reduce so that the alcohol can evaporate.

In a large bowl, empty out the two whole tomato cans. using your hands, smush and mush the tomatoes until they are all broken down. Add the tomatoes to the pan. Throw in the tomato paste and the rest of the seasonings, reserving the basil and parsley until later. Cover the marinara sauce, reduce the flame and allow to simmer for several minutes, again, hours would be better. After it has simmered, add the chopped basil and parsley, mix.

While the marinara is cooking, grill the vegetables. Remove the marinating veggies from the fridge, and preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Place the vegetable slices on the grill in a single layer. Grill on the one side for about 5-7 minutes, until grill marks appear. Flip over the veggies and allow the second side to cook for 3-5 minutes longer. Work in batches as all the vegetables wont fit, removing the finished ones onto a plate to rest. Once all the vegetables are grilled allow to cool.

To make the spinach ricotta layer, mix the ricotta, thawed and drained frozen spinach, pepper and nutmeg.

Once the veggies are grilled, the marinara has simmered for a while, the ricotta spinach mixture is mixed, assemble the lasagna. Grab a 9x13x2 inch baking dish. First, spread a layer of marinara sauce. Then layer, alternating, the zucchini, summer squash and eggplant, until it forms one complete layer. Spread another layer of marinara sauce. Spread half of the ricotta spinach mixture, top with parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese. Continue to layer repeating the same steps. A layer of veggies, marinara, the rest of the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Then add the final veggie layer. Top with more marinara sauce. Arrange the fresh sliced mozzarella cheese on top in two rows.

Place the baking dish on a foil lined baking pan to catch the drippings. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and allow the cheese to brown and bubble on top. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Cut and serve. Enjoy.