Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free Lasagna That Doesn’t Suck
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Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free Lasagna That Doesn’t Suck

This “lasagna” is the perfect seasonal dish for September. Inspired by a dish at Pure Food and Wine in New York, Green Zebra tomatoes, zucchini, and basil are the stars. One bite and you’ll be amazed that the pine nut “ricotta” contains no dairy, that the tomato sauce is uncooked, and how well zucchini ribbons mimic noodles.

Ingredients (serves 6): 

For the Lemon-Pignoli “Ricotta”:

– 2 cups raw pignoli nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional; available in health food stores)

– 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the Tomato Sauce:

– 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), soaked in water for at least 2 hours

– 1 medium ripe tomato, diced

– 1⁄4 small onion, chopped

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

– 4 teaspoons maple syrup

– 2 teaspoons sea salt

– pinch hot-pepper flakes

For the Basil-Pistachio Pesto:

– 2 cups packed basil leaves

– 1⁄2 cup raw pistachios

– 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

– pinch freshly ground black pepper

For the Lasagna:

– 3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed

– 3 medium green-zebra tomatoes (or other heirloom variety)

– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

– 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

– Garnish: whole basil leaves

Instructions:

1. For the “ricotta”, place the pignoli, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor, and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined.

2. Gradually add 6 tablespoons water, and pulse until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

3. For the tomato sauce, place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.

4. Onto the pesto! Place the basil, pistachios, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a blender and process.

5. Now for the lasagna. Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, shave zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, then cut in half crosswise.

6. Cut the tomatoes in half, and each half into thin slices.

7. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with two layers of zucchini slices. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil, spread 1⁄3 of the tomato sauce over it, and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using 1⁄3 of each.

8. Layer on 1⁄3 of the tomato slices, and sprinkle with 1⁄3 of the oregano and thyme. Add another double layer of zucchini and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, tomato slices, and herbs.

9. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil.

First up, we’ll whip up this vegan hack on “ricotta.”

Place the pignoli, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor, and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined. Gradually add 6 tablespoons water, and pulse until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

For the tomato sauce, simply place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Onto the pesto! Place the basil, pistachios, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a blender and process.

Lastly, it’s time to make the lasagna.

Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, shave zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, then cut in half crosswise. Cut the tomatoes in half, and each half into thin slices.

Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with two layers of zucchini slices. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil, spread 1⁄3 of the tomato sauce over it, and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using 1⁄3 of each. Layer on 1⁄3 of the tomato slices, and sprinkle with 1⁄3 of the oregano and thyme. Add another double layer of zucchini and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, tomato slices, and herbs.

Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil. (Recipe adapted from Pure Food and Wine.)

What healthy hacks on comfort foods would you like to see here on Brit.co? Talk to us in the comments below.