It’s not quite Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night, a holiday I’ve talked about before. But that’s coming. In the meantime, here’s an ingenious way to make use of summer’s bounty: no-noodle lasagna.
You know how to make lasagna, right? No need for me to go into it?
The layer of red sauce…
followed by a layer of noodle…
followed by a layer of ricotta, perhaps mixed with an egg and some chard or spinach…
followed by a layer of mozzarella…
followed by a layer of red sauce…
followed by a layer of noodle…
…and so on and so forth until your kitchen looks like it has been the setting of a massacre?
You know this. You’ve done it. I’m not gonna’ tell you to make lasagna. I will simply tell you what I have long-considered the biggest pain-in-the-patookis about lasagna.
To my mind, the biggest pain-in-the-patookis about lasagna is not the massacre-setting. It is those danged noodles. Unless you are gonna’ let the lasagna sit overnight (something I never quite plan for, because I am not a planner, and which always makes me nervous, anyway, since I tend to mix an egg with the ricotta), you must first boil the noodles, and then lay them out in such a way that doesn’t make them stick together, and now there’s an extra pot to clean, and dang it, those noodles stuck together anyway…
And now. Now I have found a solution to that problem. And this solution also happens to be a solution to the too-much-zucchini problem of summer. And? If you happen to be one of those South Beach types? You will also find this to be a solution to the carbs-are-gonna’-kill-us problem.
Forget those sticky, pot-messying noodles! Just layer slices of zucchini wherever you would have placed a noodle. Cut ‘em to somewhere between an eighth-inch to a quarter-inch thick (don’t worry; you won’t be exact, and you don’t need to). Follow any lasagna recipe whatsoever, replacing the word “noodle” with the word “zucchini.” And yes, I mean raw zucchini. No need for that extra pot! No need whatsoever!
Your six-year old, who claims not to like zucchini, digs it. Your husband likes it fine, and says he misses the noodles only when you are fool enough to ask the question, “do you miss the noodles?”
(note to self: do not ask such a question next time).
Your two-year old happily rejects it, as she happily rejects all food, and chooses instead to clomp around the house in your sandals:
When she is silent for too long, you discover that she has decided to try on every shoe in the house:
As you clean that up mess, your six-year old finishes her lasagna, and decides to start making herself a smoothie:
Even if it does make her look creepily like Batman’s Joker:
But back to the no-noodle lasagna. Like any lasagna, a big pan of it makes enough for dinner, plus a bunch that can be separated, frozen, and saved for a rainy day:
Oh, wait. It IS a rainy day:
No matter. You’ll save for the next rainy day.
The only problem with this recipe, is that the zucchini contains enough water that a bunch of liquid gets left behind in a pan:
If you were a planner, you would have planned ahead for this. You would have covered your zucchini slices in salt and water, then let stand for 2 hours to draw out the vegetable’s water, then rinsed well before using.
But we have already established that you are not a planner, you shall never be a planner, you do not for the life of you understand this word, plan, this word that others mention with such frequency, and such enthusiasm.
No, you did not plan ahead. So, instead, you decide the extra liquid is nothing that a big hunk of crusty bread can’t fix.
Plenty more zucchini recipes to follow. Because those zucchini keep coming, as fast as we can use ‘em.