Prep 25 mins
Cook 25 mins
If you're dating a vegan and you're a bacon-lover, you know what a pain in the keister making something romantic and delicious for them can be. This recipe actually tastes good to people who like food for food's sake; even Tony Bourdain would eat it and like it. I made it up, because periodically I throw down on the vegan challenge just for fun (vegan challenge: can you make something both delicious and vegan, with no weird processed vegan foods in it ). If it was summer, I'd use fresh tomatoes and make a tomato lasagne. Since this was made in the winter, it's made with seasonal veggies - spinach, eggplant, mushrooms etc.
Spinach Pesto Layer
- 2 1⁄2 lbs raw spinach
- 1⁄2 head fresh garlic
- 2 cups walnuts (optional)
- olive oil
Eggplant Tapenade Layer
- 2 italian eggplants, cubed into 1cm squares
- 20 green olives, pitted
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 onions, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 lbs dark mushrooms, like shitake mushrooms or 1 1⁄2 lbs portabella mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- olive oil
- 2 lbs no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1⁄2 lb sharp cheddar cheese (optional, for non-vegans) or 1⁄2 lb gorgonzola (optional, for non-vegans)
- Make the Eggplant Tapenade: cube and salt the eggplants. Pit the olives, and chuck them, the sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste and olive oil into the blender. When the eggplant is a little soft, toss it with the blended mixture and the chopped onions.
- Make spinach pesto: wilt the spinach by dumping a kettle of boiling water over it. Use a strainer, and squeeze out all the excess green water. Dump the spinach, garlic, walnuts and a splash of olive oil into the blender and blend.
- Make the mushroom layer: chop up the mushrooms, and the garlic. Sautee the mushrooms and garlic together until the mushrooms are just softened.
- Assemble the lasagne: using lidded pyrex dishes (works better than tinfoil, over the top, but use what you got), put a layer of spinach pesto on the bottom, then put a layer of lasagne noodles, then a layer of the eggplant, then a layer of lasagne noodles in the opposite orientation of the last layer, then a layer of mushrooms, then a layer of lasagne noodles in the opposite orientation of the last layer, then a layer of eggplant, then a layer of lasagne noodles in the opposite orientation of the last layer, top with a layer of spinach pesto. Top with cheese if your partner is just a vegetarian, or pretend its tofu when they ask.
- Should fill 3 12" square pyrex dishes. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Freeze leftovers trays whole in case you need some last minute food for a party later.
I am not vegan/vegetarian, but was looking for a recipe that used ingredients on hand. I made it according to the recipe, without the salt or cheese options. I found it to be tasty, but really salty. Aside from the olives, which I did use, I can't think of any foods called for that seem salty. I also like green olives, so I was surprised. I only have access to green olives in brine, so maybe a different type or rinsing them would help. I ate one serving.