Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Surprises of the Garden: GF Sherried Carrot and Kale Lasagna With Rosemary Garlic Bread

Dinner last night used four items from the garden: carrots, kale, garlic, and rosemary. We were making rosemary rolls at work yesterday, which got me thinking about how good rosemary tastes with carrots, and before I knew it, I had planned a dinner based upon the two. It didn’t hurt matters that the carrots in the garden were maturing, and it was time to pick. Actually, this is the first time in over 15 years gardening in Vermont that we have grown decent carrots.

 Of course there are the funky carrots that mange to grow around rocks in the soil (lots of rocks,) but we’ve never grown decent sized carrots before the first frost until this summer. Maybe it was the hotter than normal weather or the quality of the seeds (High Mowing Seeds from, you guessed it, Vermont,) but boy are we getting the loveliest, tastiest carrots. (Chester, our Golden, also loves carrots. He lurks in the drop zone, and is happy to snack on the peels, so no need for a compost bin with him.)

To build the lasagna, I used a sherried carrot sauce instead of tomato sauce, and added chopped kale to a blend of ricotta, egg, and parmesan cheese. When I went to prepare the sauce, I got a big surprise. Perfectly camouflaged on the carrot greens was a beautiful green and black striped caterpillar on the move.

The vertical striping, much like that of a zebra, has the effect of visually breaking up the image for any predators (or cooks.) Of course, Alex was delighted by the caterpillar surprise, so we immediately had to go online and find out what kind of butterfly it would become. It turned out to be a black swallowtail butterfly—how cool!

Gluten Free Sherried Carrot and Kale Lasagna
The sauce:
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 stick butter
½ C cooking sherry
1-1/2 C water
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

The ricotta filling (blended:)
1 15-oz container of ricotta
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 large egg
2 C chopped raw kale

Additional lasagna ingredients:
1 12-oz package Tinkyada lasagna noodles
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
½ C kalamata olives (chopped)
1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary

1. Saute onion in melted butter until transparent.
2. Add chopped carrots, sherry, pepper, and half the water. Bring to a boil and let simmer adding the balance of the water and the sauce reduces. Simmer until carrots are tender (about 20-25 min.)
3. Remove mixture from the heat and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside for building lasagna.
4. Spread approximately ¼ of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x12 baking dish, then place a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on top of it.
5. Spread approximately ¼ of ricotta mixture on noodles, and top with ¼ of shredded mozzarella.
6. Repeat process, building layers. End with a layer of shredded mozzarella. Sprnkle kalamata olives and fresh rosemary on top.
7. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
8. Uncover and bake 30 additional minutes. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Gluten Free Garlic Rosemary Bread
1. Slice Against The Grain Rosemary Rolls into cross sections approximately ½ to ¾ inch thick.
2. Finely chop one garlic clove and add to several tablespoons of butter.
3. Brush butter and garlic on tops of slices.
4. Bake on sheet pan for approximately 10 minutes at 400 degrees (until lightly toasted.)


Delia said...

That recipe looks great! I work at High Mowing Seeds, and your post was brought to my attention via Google - I'm so glad your carrots are growing well for you this year! It's been a great year for VT gardens - finally! Would you mind if I referenced this recipe on our Facebook site?

TLC said...

Sure, Delia, please do. I also mention your rainbow chard seeds in a pizza recipe (July 11) bolgs. As is obvious, we're big fans.