Web Xtra: Veggie Lasagna


When you think light, healthy, vegetarian eating, lasagna isn’t exactly the first dish that comes to mind.

Unless you’re Joey Giannuzzi.

The chef-partner at Farmer’s Table in Boca Raton has made a career out of proving that light, healthy, vegetarian (and non-vegetarian) cuisine can actually be delicious. Here he turns his skills and creativity to lasagna, reimagining this often-leaden dish as a panoply of garden-fresh vegetables in a bright-tasting tomato sauce. True, it lacks meat, pasta and cheese (unless requested). But it lacks nothing in flavor, texture and pure dining pleasure.

Vegetable Lasagna

For tempeh Bolognese

1 cup tempeh, crumbled

2 cup San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

2 tablespoons garlic, sliced thin

1/2 cup small onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut in thin strips

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté onion and garlic until lightly browned and caramelized. Add basil and tempeh and sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes more. Cool and reserve. Set aside a couple large spoonfuls for plating.

For lasagna

1 each, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and sweet potato, sliced 1/4-inch thick lengthwise

2 red peppers, cut in thick strips

4 Portobello mushroom caps

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Heat olive oil with garlic and herbs to infuse their flavors. Brush vegetables with infused oil, sprinkle with sea salt and grill until al dente, except for the eggplant, which should be cooked through.

To assemble: Lightly oil small pyrex dish and layer vegetables in this order: eggplant, sweet potato, 1/2 cup tempeh Bolognese, red peppers, Portobello caps, 1/2 cup tempeh Bolognese, yellow squash, zucchini. You should have 3 layers. Cover with plastic wrap, weigh down with heavy cans or another Pyrex dish and refrigerate overnight.

To serve: Reheat lasagna in warm oven, topping with fresh mozzarella if desired. Cut into squares, spoon a little reserve tomato sauce on top, garnish with a basil leaf. Serves 4.