The season for zucchini has arrived. It is just about everywhere you look, and if you have it growing in your garden, you’re probably harvesting it by the dozen. The good news about having so much zucchini is that there are so many ways you can eat it. You can make it into a sweet dish like zucchini bread or zucchini cookies, or you can turn it into a savory dinner like a loaded salad or this easy lasagna.
This delicious casserole is made just like a traditional lasagna, only without noodles. The fresh zucchini is cut into strips and serves as a more than adequate substitute for the carbs. In fact, this is a great dish if you are eating a gluten-free diet. I keep it simple with a homemade tomato sauce, a fresh ricotta filling, and a sprinkling of cheese on top. If you are feeling adventurous you could also add in some thinly sliced mozzarella, sautéed onions, or a pinch of crushed red pepper. Whatever your adaptation, have fun with it and enjoy the summer eating while it lasts.
Easy Zucchini Lasagna
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons dried Italian herb blend
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 large zucchinis, cut into long strips about 1/8-inch thick
finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil and add the shallot. Sauté the shallot for about 5 minutes, or until it is softened. Then add the garlic and stir for one more minute. Pour in the tomatoes and add in the salt and Italian herbs, stirring well. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.
3. In a small bowl whisk the cheese with the salt and pepper until smooth.
4. Slice the zucchini into strips and line the bottom of a 9″x9″ pan with about three strips. Top the zucchini with enough of the tomato sauce to coat the top. Then dollop half of the ricotta on top and spread it around with the back of a spoon. Add a second layer of zucchini and repeat the layering. Finish with a layer of zucchini with tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle the very top with the Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake the lasagna for 18 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Allow to cool slightly, then cut and serve immediately.