Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lasagna Summer Salad

I'm not sure yet if this one's a keeper or not; it's got cut up tomatoes which Sweet Pea doesn't like.  I also think it needs a bit of tweaking anyway for it to make keeper status.  I do like the idea of making a quintessential winter dish like lasagna into something that's good in the summer.  It still takes some time to put together but you won't have the oven on for an hour in the heat of the summer.  You do need to plan ahead a bit for this.  I got this from the 80-20 blog.

Lasagna Summer Salad
Serves 6

12 oz. dry lasagna noodles
5 oz. tomato bouillon (I used 4 vegetable bouillon cubes)
14 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (I used petite diced since I couldn't find a 14 oz. can of crushed)
3 cloves of garlic, pressed and finely minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped (I used a good sprinkle of Italian seasoning since I didn't have fresh oregano, nor did I have any dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped (I used dried)
1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade
2 cups fresh tomatoes (roma or cherry), seeded and chopped
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, parsley, and oregano.  Bring to a low boil,l then reduce heat to a simmer for 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer sauce into a shallow glass ocntainer.  Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.

In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil.  When water is boiling, add tomato bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved.  Carefully place lasagna noodles into boiling water and cook until al dente, ~9-10 minutes, being careful to not overcook.  Remove from heat, drain and rinse with cold water.

Cut noodles down the center lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into four pieces (you'll end up with 8 pieces).

Place noodles into a large bowl and add chopped tomoatoes and basil chiffonade.  Toss gently.

To chilled sauce, add ricotta and whisk until combined.  Add sauce to noodle mixture and toss gently to coat.  Serve immediately.

The main comment at dinner tonight was about the basil.  I either needed to make the chiffonade finer or leave it out or use dried.  The fresh basil just seemed overpowering in the dish (and rather unappealing) but overall we enjoyed this dish.

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