Tag Archive for 'Summer'

Summer Vegetable Lasagna

On the one slightly cooler day in recent weeks, I succumbed to the temptation to turn the oven on again and roast some vegetables for a lasagna. I since discovered that in order to get perfectly roasted vegetables, instead of using the oven, you can grill them on the BBQ, thereby cutting down oven time by half. In my A/C less kitchen, this is a huge bonus… That said, our BBQ is quite big and I can grill all of the vegetables at once, which makes this method fairly straight forward and fast. If you have a smaller one, you can either grill everything in stages, or go back to oven roasting.

My husband was away for business and one day I channeled all my energy, opened the BBQ, which so far has been his domain 100% of the time, and scrubbed it with all my force. That same night I started to BBQ. Since then I grilled fish, shrimp, mushrooms and various vegetables fairly successfully, except for the one time I was chatting and turned the slices of eggplant into coal. Long story short, I am hooked and will make much more use of the BBQ, even if that means that I need to scrub the darn thing every once in a while.

What you need for a roasted vegetable lasagna in peak summer is what you find in great abundance at your farmers market or back yard. Zucchini, red peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. You’ll also need fresh ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, good quality pasta (I used spelt… again) and you’re almost there. No need for any herbs, the flavors of the grilled vegetables speak for themselves. The end result is deliciously summery, not too heavy and wonderfully satisfying.

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Spelt Pasta with Roasted Summer Vegetables and Cannellini Beans

It’s hot this week and the kids are back in school. Since they are coming home with more and more homework, my new strategy is to try and have dinner (or most of it) ready by the time they come home.  This is easy in summer, when all you really need is a substantial salad and some form of protein. I made a soba noodle salad with pan fried tofu, lentil salad with chard and my Mexican salad just in the past 4 days. For the odd night I didn’t feel like salad, I roasted some really ripe tomatoes, that were starting to look a little dated, 2 red peppers,  zucchini and yellow squashes and a whole garlic. This turned into a delicious, flavourful sauce, which I mixed with cannellini beans, fresh basil and spelt pasta. Roasting vegetables is not my favorite thing to do in an A/C free kitchen in summertime, but I just love the taste of roasted tomatoes.  A mixture of various heirloom ones would be lovely, but any ripe tomatoes, in season and locally grown are great. If you have more than what’s asked for in this recipe, go for it and roast some more. Add them to your sandwich with fresh goat’s cheese or mozarella. Hmmm, heaven.

In case you’re having the same hesitations about turning the oven on when it’s hot outside, use the grill instead, or simultaneously roast some butternut squash pieces, beetroot or chickpeas for tomorrow’s salad. I stuck in some banana bread and muffins, our all time favourite morning tea.

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