Zucchini and fresh vine-ripened tomatoes make this lasagna sing!
This "raw" version of the classic lasagna, really hits home for me being that I am of Italian decent. I literally grew up eating lasagna - and all sorts of other classic Italian foods. Over time, this way of eating did not do me well. I eventually had to make a change to preserve my health and reverse many addictions and illnesses I had acquired over the years by eating too much dairy, wheat, meat, sugar, etc.
Today some of my favourite raw food meals are Italian based, as these meals are comfort food for me and also a canvas for my creativity and exploration in this raw lifestyle I've become very accustomed to.
Here is my latest recipe of the Classic Lasagna:
1 very large or 2 medium zucchini
3 large or 6 smaller vine-ripened tomatoes, depending on size, or whatever delicious red tomato is in season for you, roughly chopped
fresh basil leaves, a large bunch will do
dried oregano, a few dashes or more if you wish
Celtic sea salt (about 1/2 a tsp or more depending on your taste)
Cold-pressed olive oil as needed (get the best quality you can get your hands on - in this dish the olive oil really sings, so don't be cheap!)
spring onion, 1 will do
cashews or pine nuts, about 1/3 cup
1/3 tsp raw, good quality local honey
1 small garlic clove or garlic powder to taste
1. Using a carrot peeler, make flat ribbons out of your zucchini and set aside.
2. Using a small food processor or Magic Bullet, pulse the tomatoes until they are chunky-choppped, don't turn them into mush or juice.
3. Add a drizzle or two of olive oil to the tomatoes, a few dashes of oregano, a good pinch of Celtic sea salt, 1/2 tsp of raw honey, a few dashes of garlic powder and 1 spring onion. Continue to pulse/process until the tomato mixture resembles traditional salsa, not tomato sauce. If you over process, the tomatoes will become tomato juice. You don't want this. You're looking for texture here, so just pulse a few times until everything gets well combined. This is your Fresh Tomato Salsa. Set aside.
4. Wash out your processor so you can get prepared to make the Basil Pesto Sauce. Place a good bunch of fresh basil leaves in your food processor. Add about a 1/3 cup of raw cashews or pine nuts, a good pinch of Celtic sea salt, a few dashes of garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove (if you really love garlic flavour). Pulse these ingredients just to get them well combined. Now add some olive oil over the basil mixture, until it's well covered with the oil. You'll need quite a bit here (perhaps 1/3 cup or so). Now continue processing until you get a thick green paste. If you need to add more oil, do so. The mixture should not be dry and clumpy. It needs to be smooth and creamy. Add as much olive oil as you need ... don't worry, this is the best ingredient in this dish! Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
5. Now for the assembly. Place a few zucchini ribbons in the same direction, side by side, in your serving dish. Cover with some Basil Pesto Sauce and a few spoonfulls of your Fresh Tomato Salsa. Then top with a few more ribbons of zucchini, in the same direction, side by side, over the sauces. Top with the same sauces, the Basil Pesto Sauce first and then the Fresh Tomato Salsa and continue in this fashion until you make your own version of a raw vegan lasagna.
Note: You can make 2 good servings with the above ingredients or 3 or 4 smaller servings.
- Top each serving with slices of fresh tomato, torn basil leaves and a drizzle of good olive oil.
- If you like your food spicy, sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper over top of each plate.
Enjoy eating Italian ... the raw vegan way:)