November 21, 2013
Visit any farmer’s market or produce section and you’re sure to find an abundance of summer zucchini. And while it’s quite tasty when grilled, our friend Paul Haight at NoExcusesBBQ.com takes it to a whole ‘nother level with this grilled zucchini lasagna!
Got some monster zucchini you don’t know what to do with? Make up a batch of zucchini lasagna. Start by slicing the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips. Brush with a bit of EVOO and grill for a few minutes to remove some of the moisture.
To give you an idea of scale, what you see above was half of a large zucchini that we picked up from the farm market yesterday at a cost of $.50 less per pound than the smaller, skinnier versions. If you have your own garden, you’ll likely have more than a few of these at this time of the year and your friends are avoiding you like the plague for fear you’ll try to get them to take them off your hands. I speak from experience, having been on both sides of that equation at one time or another. But I digress…
Once the other half was grilled, a layer was placed in the bottom of a very large enamel-on-steel roasting pan. Ordinarily I’d use a smaller pan and stack more layers, but this one was handy and I was being lazy tonight. If you are following along at home, make sure you cover the entire bottom of whatever pan you decide to use.
At some point during all the zucchini slicing and grilling process, sauté up a batch of your favorite ground meat (tonight’s was bison) along with a sliced onion, several mushrooms (chopped), an Anaheim pepper (also chopped), a couple of tablespoons of minced garlic, a large can of crushed tomatoes, a goodly amount of chopped fresh basil, oregano, and other Italian-style seasonings, a splash of red wine, and a dash of fresh ground salt and pepper. You might even want to start this cooking about the time you light the grill (assuming you aren’t cooking with gas, or in the house) and let it simmer during the whole grilling of vegetables phase. Assuming you read this part before starting, it should be ready to spread over the first layer of zucchini by now.
Sprinkle on a handful of feta cheese. If you are going for more layers, add another layer of grilled zucchini and repeat until the pan is almost full.
Top off with a layer of grilled zucchini. If you calculated properly, you should have just enough left to cover the entire top. If you run short, I’m sure someone can hook you up with more zucchini.
Cover the top with a layer of mozzarella cheese. We happened to have some more of the sheet variety on hand so this batch got a nice even coverage.
Put the pan on the grill (reduced to about 375°F) for about 35 minutes, or until the cheese reaches the desired state of being. We like ours a bit browned.
Slice, let cool a bit, and enjoy. Make sure you don’t skip that “let cool a bit” part (unless you like third-degree burns in your mouth).
This was some good stuff (I know, because the kids had seconds and the red-headed boy was concerned about leftovers for tomorrow), and for those interested in that sort of thing, worked out to about 375 calories per serving (above batch made six servings) when using a lean meat like bison and low-fat mozzarella. On top of that, it was entirely gluten-free (not that I care, but I do have friends with gluten-related health issues so I at least pay attention to this sort of thing in case I ever need to feed them).
Maybe I should stop avoiding my friends with gardens…