This past Saturday evening I was having a conversation with one of Tewksbury's finest and he happened to mention I haven't printed a recipe in a while.
I inquired as to what he was looking for and he said, "well, my daughter’s a vegetarian, do have anything for a veggie lasagna. "
Of course I do, but let me say this first, not all vegetarians are created equal.
In today's crazy epicurean world we now have sub-species of vegetarian. There are the semi-vegetarians who may eat fish or perhaps chicken but no other fleshy meat. Then there's the ovo-vegetarian who will eat eggs but no flesh. Next comes the lacto-vegetarian -- they partake in dairy but no flesh or eggs.
Of course, common sense dictates there must be the ovo-lacto vegetarian, I'm sure you got that one figured out and last, but not least, the most stringent of all vegetarians, the vegan. Vegans eat nothing but vegetation with no meat or meat by-products.
So what's a cook to do? I remember an old philosophy professor of mine who taught a course in logic. Without getting into the validity of my argument all vegetarians are not vegans, but all vegans are vegetarians. Therefore, I will lean to the side of caution and keep this dish strictly vegan.
Please remember my credo, make food your own, wander towards your own tastes and don't be afraid to make changes based on personal preferences. You won't go to jail for adapting a recipe.
This one is a little challenging, as I like to keep food simple, clean, and flavorful.
Let's start by slicing a large zucchini length-wise. This will act as our pasta sheets.
Grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil and spread a layer of zucchini slices.
In a sauté pan over high heat sear off some Mediterranean style vegetables. Roasted peppers, hearts of artichoke, assorted olives, eggplant, onions, garlic etc. until they are slightly charred.
In a separate pot cook a cup or two of brown rice and let it cool.
Layer the vegetable mixture over the zucchini and then add a layer of brown rice (white rice, orzo, cous cous, or any small pasta works fine).
Continue on until your baking dish is full.
Drizzle the top with a little oil and some fresh herbs and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.
Healthy, tasty and delicious.