Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Green lasagne + roasted cauliflower ricotta
I'm featuring another little innovation from Appetite for Reduction that I just discovered today - roasted cauliflower ricotta. Basically, it's roasted cauliflower and crumbled firm tofu mixed with a few other things and pulverized in a food processor (or by hand), and it's quite amazingly good, a ricotta-type product that actually has a taste, and if you like roasted cauliflower, this recipe is for you.
Isa uses it in her Lasagne with roasted cauliflower ricotta and spinach, and what I did today was inspired by that recipe, but since I can't ever do exactly what I'm told, I put my own spin on it. The ricotta, however, is all hers.
First, my sauce was green, a summer sauce from the freezer that was probably made with tomatillos. At any rate, it was superb, so thanks, self of the past, for making and preserving it. A layer of sauce:
A layer of cooked noodles (my whole recipe contains three lasagne noodles and is, incidentally, about one quarter of the entire recipe from the book, about a serving and a half):
Some of that ricotta:
Wow, are these pictures painfully dull or what? Isa layers on a small amount of fresh raw spinach, but since I love greens, love 'em, and have a lot of them on hand, I quick-cooked some broccoli rabe, added lots of spinach right at the end, cooled it, and squeezed out some of the moisture. Under it in the next layer is a sub-layer of red onions and chopped mushrooms:
Do all that again, and finish up with a layer of noodles, the last of the ricotta, and a fresh tomato/kalamata olive topping:
Cook that at 350F for about 40 minutes:
It smells heavenly. I served it with mashed carrots, steamed Brussels sprouts, and sweet winter daikon and red radishes:
Hooray, we have achieved the rainbow! And it was delicious to boot. It's been ages...like years...since I had lasagne. It's easy to make, but there was a certain (large) amount of cleanup required at the end.
Notice the mashed carrots? I asked the Moon Goddess to pick me up some carrots at Costco the other day, since I was out, and she brought me back ten pounds. Ten pounds of carrots is a lot of carrots. Luckily, I'm quite fond of them. I made supper for her and Diane the other night, and served these and they were a big hit--based on a recipe out of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It's just steamed carrots, three big ones in this case, a heaping teaspoon of frozen concentrated orange juice, a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, and salt and pepper, mashed. That meal, however, got me into mashes in a big way. Jamie Oliver has some nice ones in his Meals in Minutes, but none of them is as stupendous as this:
Kabocha squash, green beans, broccoli, peas, oh my! It was served like this:
I was kind of following a recipe of Jamie Oliver's for this meal, but misread the recipe (my fault, not his) and ended up botching the tofu part, so I won't reveal which one. It tasted pretty good anyway, and the mash made up for it.
I've been away from this blog for a little while, still cooking but also planning my garden (such a big job I've moved it over to its own blog so as not to bore the non-gardeners among my readers), and trying to figure out how to use my new smartphone. Those things are amazingly addictive.