Thursday, October 15, 2009


"Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;
let fortune's bubbles rise and fall;
who sows a field, or trains a flower,
or plants a tree, is more than all."
~ John Greenleaf Whittier

~ Rich autumn flavors of roasted peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and caramelized onions blend for this old fall crowd-pleaser
4 red peppers
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
extra-virgin olive oil as needed
1 eggplant (about 1 lb.) cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
4 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 large chopped onion
pinch of sugar
15 -oz. ricotta cheese
4 large organic eggs
3 1/2-4 cups good tomato sauce combined with 1 Tbsp. basil
18 cooked* lasagna noodles (1 lb.)
(*boil 5 minutes in salted water, drain, and cool under cold water)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh parsley
  • Broil peppers directly on rack under broiler until blackened on all sides. Put in paper bag, roll up and let peppers cool. When cool, remove and discard skin and seeds. Cut peppers into 1-inch strips.
  • Thaw spinach and drain well, pressing out all liquid and set aside.
  • Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil; spray with Pam or lightly brush with oil. Place eggplant slices on one pan and brush with olive oil. Place zucchini slices on the other. Sprinkle both with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 minutes for eggplant. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and saute chopped onions until wilted. Reduce heat to low, add pinch of sugar, and continue cooking about 10 minutes, stirring until caramelized and a nice rich brown. Set aside.
  • Reduce oven heat to 350-degrees.
  • Mix cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, and eggs until combined. Set aside.
  • Cover bottom of large lasagna pan (12x16x2) with 1/3 cup of tomato sauce. Layer 6 noodles evenly over sauce. Spread 1/3 cup tomato sauce over noodles. Cover with 1/4 of spinach mixture followed by all the roasted peppers and eggplant. Press down lightly.
  • Make another layer beginning with another 6 noodles, 1/3 cup tomato sauce, the rest of spinach mixture and all of the zucchini. Sprinkle with caramelized onions. Top with 1/3 cup tomato sauce.
  • Make final layer with remaining noodles. Spread on balance of sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and finishing with Parmesan. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Bake until bubbly and browned, about 50 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving. ( 8-10 servings)
  • Note: To make ahead: Cool completely, cover with foil, and refrigerate (or freeze). Reheat, covered, in 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until heated through (up to an hour or so if frozen).


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, wish I would have gotten a few mums this fall. Those bright colors would lift the spirits even in this constant cold and rain. Love the sunny color on your plant.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, that recipe sounds just perfect for these cool, October suppers. :) And the gold posies are wonderful!

Carol said...

JOYEY, Your golden petals are so lovely with black background! I love the quote too... and your recipe ... well Yumm! Is a word that comes to mind. Carol

joey said...

Thanks Marnie ... these rich indoor mums make me happy :) So far this has been a homely fall but we just had our first freeze and greens are finally changing.

Hi Nancy ~ indeed it's autumn! Must admit, I'm not ready for the change :(

Thank you, Carol. After coming in from the cold garden, love the rich smell of veggies roasting in the oven.

donna said...

I haven't made lasagna of any type for many years, but this recipe tempts me. It's cold and raining here.....lasagna weather. Gold and yellow mums will always be my favorites even though there are other pretty colors. Gosh, you're a great photographer.

F Cameron said...

Lovely mums!
Another fabulous recipe. I can't keep up! :-)


joey said...

This is quite different from classic red sauce lasagna, Donna. I love it and it's easy. Thank you for the kind words ... with still much to learn, I've had a passion for photography since childhood :)

... and you are dynamite in the kitchen, Cameron ... thanks!

Gail said...

I love the golden flowers Joey! They look like sunshine and that is making me smile. Yummy recipe...Your family is lucky to have you! gail

joey said...

Thanks Gail for adding sunshine to my life ... and, yes my family is lucky to have me, I'm cheap! :)

marmee said...

aren't you glad joey we are some of the riches gals with all of our gardens.
i love that quote.
these bright yellow beauties are great spirit lifters after all the grey days we have been having.
happy autumn.

joey said...

Indeed we are, Marmee! Just returned from the loveliest rich spot ~ your harvestscape post :) Have a wonderful weekend. Heading north for a few days where fall color is at its peak!

Nutty Gnome said...

Joey!!!! You keep doing this to me ....... I'm hungry AGAIN! :)

joey said...

You're too cute, Nutty! Have a wonderful weekend ... we're off for a color tour. Bon appetit!

Meems said...

Dear Joey,
"who sows a field, or trains a flower,or plants a tree, is more than all." I like it.
mmm, mmm, yummy lasagna... and beautiful gold!
Enjoy your weekend.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

joey said...

You are a dear, Meems, and as a fella' gardener not surprised you liked this quote. Think of you and Marmee often ... you are so blessed to have each other! Fall has wrapped its arms around us here in Michigan ... a beautiful time of year.

Rose said...

I love the sentiment in this quote by Whittier. A few moments in the garden and I don't care what my house looks like or if I have the latest fashions.

Lasagna is one of my favorites, and I've been looking for a good recipe using vegetables instead. This one sounds delicious!

Rose said...

Joey, I was just scrolling down your posts looking for the Pear Skillet Cake recipe when I saw your October Muse Day post. I don't know I missed it! Not only do I love the imagery in the poem, but the photos are so beautiful. Having grown up on a farm with an old red barn, I'm always drawn to them and love to see the perfectly rolled bales of hay in the fields.

joey said...

Wonder if all gardeners feel like this, Rose! I know I do though cringe when neighbors/friends visit me working in the garden, looking like the 'last rose of summer' and lovingly wipe dirt off my face :) I'm writing from the lake, surrounded by farm lands filled with the bales of hay shown in the post. Blessed to live between 2 different worlds, I'm off after a working weekend to enjoy part of next week (wine country joy) to, hopefully, capture Michigan wearing its finest fall color. Know you will be enjoying this beautiful time of year also :)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Joey! I hope you're soon enjoying the beautiful colors of Michigan! I love the Autumn Season (generally!) for its breathtaking colors. Your quote has filled my cup to the brim today. I was able to work outdoors; brought home a pickup load of shredded hardwood mulch and spread it around flowers all day! It was a "whistling out loud happy day!" ;-) Plus, a tree was planted in the front yard! I know we live in a woodland, but our front yard was getting bare. I hope to have a post soon, so you'll read all about it. lol.

Will be trying this recipe for sure. Love lasagna. Another friend just shared his recipe for Greek Lasagna. Wonder how Mr. Shady will feel about two new recipes?? ;-)

joey said...

Don't work too hard, Shady (so what did you plant)! Anxious to see your post. Mr. Shady is lucky to have you ... the mystery keeps our guys comin' back for more and wondering, what next :)

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Wonderful mum and a great autumn colour and then the sound really delicious, perfect fall food.


joey said...

Thanks Tyra ~ do hope your fall looks and tastes of autumn. Happy weekend :)

Becky's Big Bytes said...

Happy to find your blog. I was looking for a new lasagna recipe and stumbled upon your blog. Last night I thought, I want to make a more exciting lasagna for Christmas to include roasted peps, eggplant, etc. And then I found you! Merry Christmas!!

joey said...

Hope it meets your expectations, Becky! Thank you for visiting and your kind comment. And Merry Christmas to you!

Kante Luis said...