It’s August, and we’re in the midst of the dog days of summer here in Sowega. Nothing is ripe and/or growing except a few tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs, but it’s about too hot for much else. So instead of our usual Farm to Table Supper, we just called an official Eating Meeting.
I didn’t make anything worth sharing a recipe for, but we did have a great time, and I even used real napkins since I hosted, which I figured was cause for both celebration and photo documentation.
I also made some sautéed lemon green beans, and Wheat baked some snapper we caught earlier this summer. Mack brought an awesome feta pepper dip with pita for dipping, and Randy and Carol brought a tasty cranberry jalapeño dip and some delicious sweet potatoes. Maggie and Greg brought summer in a bowl: spinach, watermelon and feta salad. It might not have been exactly farm-to-table, but it was a very successful eating meeting indeed.
Thanks to the recent influx of summer vegetables from our favorite farmers at Mountain Shadow Farm and Hopkins Farms, I’ve done a lot of cooking lately! Making up for lost time I suppose. Our (weight) gain is your gain! But it doesn’t count when you’re cooking with summer fruits and veggies… right?
This veggie lasagna is full of creamy white sauce, but don’t let that fool you. It’s perfectly healthy while still being indulgent. This is one dish that actually might not increase your waistline!
Start with farm-fresh vegetables, like these beautiful little patty pan heirloom squashes from Mack at Mountain Shadow Farm. They make up the backbone of this hearty dish. You can sub crookneck squash and/or zucchini for them if you can’t get your hands on any patty pan squash.
You’ll roast most of the veggies, and this will require multiple pans and lots of things going on at once in your kitchen, but stay calm. Just cover every baking sheet you own in aluminum foil to make it less overwhelming, because that cuts your cleanup time way down. Just breathe, read the directions a couple of times, and relax. And don’t forget to watch your roux!
Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna Recipe serves six to eight
Barely adapted via myrecipes.com
– 10 very small sweet onions (or 3 large shallots), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
– 2 to 3 pounds baby pattypan squash (may sub crookneck or zucchini squash)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
– 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
– 4 very ripe large tomatoes (or two pints cherry tomatoes)
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
– 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
Sauce – 3 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth – 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– Cooking spray
– 9 cooked lasagna noodles
– 8 ounces ricotta cheese
– 3 ounces shredded Italian Blend Cheese (or fontina if you can find it) (about 3/4 cup, packed)
– 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
Preheat oven to 450°. Combine onions and squash; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss. Arrange vegetables in pan; roast at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring once. Don’t allow them to burn, but you do want them to have some color. Preheat broiler to high. Place tomatoes in a roasting pan; broil 10 minutes or until blistered. Combine squash mixture, tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, chives, and garlic; toss gently. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Combine broth and flour, stirring with a whisk; add broth mixture to oil. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a whisk. I like a flat whisk – they are perfect for making roux. Stir in cream, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer gently 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place egg in a small bowl; slowly add 1 1/2 cups sauce to egg, stirring constantly. Return sauce to pan.
To build the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of a broiler-safe 13 x 9inch ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread half of squash mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese and dot with ricotta. Repeat the layers with remaining noodles, vegetable mixture, and cheese, ending with noodles. Pour remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Turn broiler to high. Broil lasagna for 4 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons fresh basil. Let stand for 12 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
This is such a pretty lasagna… before you cut it. Is there really any way to make a slice of lasagna look pretty?? If there is, I haven’t found it yet.
Feel free to roast and add any hearty, meaty veggies you have and add them in. It’s so good and satisfying, creamy and rich without any of the guilt. And a bit lighter than your average lasagna, so it’s perfect for summer gatherings around the table.
I mentioned this peach crisp recipe last time we had our Farm to Table Supper Club, and I am just about ready to make it again. In fact, with a crispy, nutty oatmeal crust, it would be the perfect summer dessert OR breakfast.
Don’t mind that butter…
I based this super simple peach crisp recipe off of this one that I found at the last minute. When it comes to sweet summer fruit, I think simplest is usually best.
– 10 to 12 very ripe peaches, washed and sliced
– 1 package very ripe blackberries (or any ripe berry you like, or omit them altogether)
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
– 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
– 2 cups rolled oats
– 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange sliced peaches evenly in a 9×13 greased pan or casserole dish. Scatter berries throughout, if using. Set aside.
Mix flour, light brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl using a pastry cutter until evenly mixed and with crumbles the size of peas. Fold the oats and pecans into the flour mixture. Evenly sprinkle and press the topping over the top of the fruit.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the topping is slightly browned.
This is the perfect way to showcase perfectly ripe, delicious Georgia peaches and really let them shine. I often find cobblers too sweet, and sometimes a cobbler can mask the true flavor of the fruit with all that sugar. There’s a time and place for cobblers, but I think this crisp really puts the fruit front and center.
I think this crisp recipe would be wonderful with any fresh or canned fruit, summer or winter, doubled or halved. The topping is versatile, crunchy, sweet, and salty. Feel free to throw anything you want underneath it! And do not hesitate to top it with ice cream, no matter what’s on the bottom.