Finding Thyme to Cook

Thyme is of the Essence

roasted vegetable lasagna

I am truly predictable.  About 23 years ago, a friend of mine (who was my boss at the time) taught me how to knit.  She was incredible and made the most unique sweaters, dresses, scarves, hats in the most unusual yarns.  They were truly phenomenal.  I have always been envious of creative people and she was no exception.  So, we decided on a project and we picked out cool yarn, cool needles, cool books with cool patterns of cool projects, cool bag to hold the cool yarn,  cool needles and cool books, and started on my sweater.

My mentor guided me along the way and anytime I had a problem, she was there with a solution. If I made the wrong stitch, she unstitched it and showed me what to do.  It was a perfect scenario.  Apparently, my husband had a little less faith in me and made a bet with her that I wouldn’t finish the sweater, not even a time limit.  We were determined to prove him wrong.

The first few weeks, I knitted like a fiend – lunch breaks, after work, doctor’s waiting rooms, dentist’s waiting rooms, sporting events, social events, car rides – you get the picture.  I got the first half the sweater done in about 3-4 weeks and it was PERFECT  nice.  My friend and I were pretty proud of my progress.  On to the second half . . .

I started out as feverishly as I did on the first half and then it happened.

I don’t recall the exact moment, where I was or why.   But just like that – I completely lost interest in knitting.  I put my cool yarn, cool needles, cool books and cool sweater half in the cool bag and put them in the closet, never to knit again.  It was like I had a horrific experience involving knitting needles and out-of-control skeins of yarn.  Wow – I pulled “skein” out of nowhere.

My husband obviously knew me pretty well.  I always have good intentions, but I get bored oh so easily.  I’m guess we should be surprised that we have been married 31 years!!!!

So what’s the point of this story?  My blogging seems to have run the same course.  After feverishly posting recipes, I got bored a bit.  I thought I should post 3-5 recipes a week, which was crazy, so now, I’ve decided to just post when I feel like it.

We have been trying to go meatless at least two days a week, so this was one of my concoctions, which actually turned out pretty good.  Roasting the vegetables prior to assembling the lasagna provided such a rich flavor – especially the roasted garlic.

  • 3 medium zucchini – cut lengthwise and into 1/3 inch slices

  • 3 carrots – cut int 1/3 inch slices

  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms – halved

  • 1 red bell pepper – quartered and seeded

  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil

  • pepper and salt

  • 2 garlic cloves – whole

  • 1 garlic cloves – minced

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 4 ounces italian fontina – grated

  • 1/2 cup parmagiano reggiano – grated

  • 3 tablespoons basil – finely chopped

  • 9 lasagna noodles – no boil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Brush two large baking pans with 1 tablespoon olive oil (total), arrange zucchini, mushrooms and two whole garlic cloves on one pan and carrots and red pepper on the second pan.

Brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast about 15 minutes, switching pans halfway through

Remove zucchini and mushrooms

Turn peppers and roast peppers and carrots an additional 10 minutes and remove from oven

Transfer peppers to bowl and cover and let stand 10 minutes before peeling.

After all the vegetables cooked, I chopped them up a bit before preparing the lasagna.

While vegetables roast, cook minced garlic in butter in a 2 quart saucepan over moderate heat

whisking frequently about 30 seconds

Whisk in flour and cook, constantly whisking, about two minutes

Slowly add milk and a steady stream, whisking constantly and bring to boil

Reduce heat and simmer, whisking frequently about eight minutes

Sauce will thicken slightly when it first comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

Stir in cheeses, basil and ½ teaspoon of salt

Soak noodles in hot water just until pliable – about 8-10 minutes

Spread 2/3 cups sauce in a 8 x 8 inch baking dish

Drain one noodle at a time on a clean kitchen towel and place three noodles overlapping a bit over the sauce

Top with half of the veggies, then more sauce

Continue with another layer of noodles, rest of  veggies and another layer of noodles and top with the rest of the sauce and a little Parmesan.

Notice the peppers?  That’s my side – my husband doesn’t like peppers!!

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown

Four servings

Print recipe

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