Vegetable Lasagna With Parmesan Sauce

Summer vegetables are available in the winter, but they don’t taste like summer. Only farm-fresh vegetables taste like this season. I love to see the arrival of summer vegetables in stores: firm zucchini, green asparagus, red and orange peppers, and others. This recipe takes advantage of summer’s bounty and also helps you meet your daily quota of veggies.

For extra flavor, the vegetables are roasted before they’re added to the lasagna. Roasting them at 425 degrees removes moisture, and this causes shrinkage. I roasted a large zucchini, large onion, one red pepper, two cups of cut and peeled baby carrots, and about one and a half cups of asparagus. After roasting, I had two cups of produce.

So if you love veggies, you may wish to roast more than the recipe calls for. Defrosted and drained frozen leaf spinach may be substituted for the asparagus. To reduce preparation time, roast the vegetables the day before you plan to use them. My family loved this recipe and I think yours will too.

VEGETABLES

1 large zucchini

1 red pepper

1 yellow onion

1 cup fresh asparagus tips

2 cups cut and peeled baby carrots

1 teaspoon garlic salt

olive oil

SAUCE

1 stick salted butter

1/2 cup regular flour

1 packet salt-free chicken bullion

4 cups skim milk

1 teaspoon salt

dash of nutmeg

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

LASAGNA

9 whole grain lasagna noodles

1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

METHOD

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Slice each half lengthwise into fourths. Cut across the slices to make chopped zucchini. Cut the red pepper into half-inch hunks. Cut the onion in half and peel each half. Remove the root and cut onion across the grain into crescent shapes. Cut the asparagus tips, and part of the stalks, into one-inch pieces. (Discard the woody parts.) Finally, cut the carrots in half.

Transfer veggies to a rimmed baking pan coated with baking spray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toss with your hands to distribute olive oil and salt. Roast for about half an hour, stirring once, until veggies start to brown.

Cook lasagna noodles until they are almost tender. Remove and place in colander. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Take lasagna out of the colander and lay flat on wax paper. Dab any extra water with paper towel.

For sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and cook over medium heat for about one minute. Add bullion cube and milk, whisking constantly, and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add nutmeg and Parmesan cheese.

Coat bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Place three cooked lasagna noodles in pan. Scatter some of the roasted vegetables on top. Spoon some sauce over the veggies. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process, ending with three lasagna noodles. Sprinkle with remaining Mozzarella cheese. Cover pan with release foil. Bake at 350 degrees for a half hour. Uncover and bake for about 20 minutes more, until sides start to bubble and top begins to brown. Makes 8 servings.