Sweet Corn and Vegetable “Lasagna”
- January 04, 2013 |
- by Kirstin Uhrenholdt
Layers of grits, cheese, and vegetables get baked into a “lasagna,” perfect for the nights you need a gluten free and vegetarian dish.
This dish is all about modifications and variations, so keep experimenting with the concept and have some fun. For example, you can easily use different vegetables if you are against the ones suggested or if you happen to have a fridge full of eggplant instead of zucchinis. One night you might throw in a little goat cheese, another some fresh mozzarella or you can even use (gasp) a meltable vegan cheese.
The number of servings can easily be scaled up as needed by choosing a larger baking dish and just more of the same ingredients, so while you are at it, why not make some extra to keep in the freezer.
Quick cheat tip: by slicing 2 of those pre-made logs of polenta and using that instead of the grits you can skip the grits-making step.
For the grits (you may call it polenta, but grits is such a homey word):
3 cups milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
3 cups water
2 cup quick grits, or polenta (not instant)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 cups corn, fresh or frozen defrosted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the filling:
2 medium zucchinis chopped
1 small red onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped basil
4 cups tomato sauce, homemade or your favorite store bought.
3 cups shredded mozzarella (or your favorite melting cheese)
To make 8 servings:
Bring the milk and water just to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stream in the grits while whisking constantly. Stir in the salt and the corn and turn down the heat to medium low. Continue stirring until the grits thicken up. Stir in the cheese.
Remove from heat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet (or 2 small ones) with wax or parchment paper and smooth the grits out in a thin layer. Chill in a refrigerator or the freezer until firm enough to hold its shape. This will take about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, start making the filling: toss the zucchini with a teaspoon of salt, put into a colander and set aside.
Drizzle some olive oil into a large nonstick pan over high heat. Sauté the mushrooms until golden. Lower the heat and add the onions, stirring until they are translucent.
Put the zucchini into a dishtowel and squeeeeze out the excess moisture so that they don’t make the dish too wet. Add them to the pan along with the garlic. Let the vegetables gently cook for 10 minutes.
Cut the grits into shapes that will comfortably layer into a large lasagna pan, you want at least 2 layers.
Rub a little olive oil into the bottom of the baking dish, top with a layer of grits, then vegetables, then cheese, a layer of sauce and grits, and on and on until you are out of ingredients. You want to end with sauce and cheese.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for a few minutes before serving.