I saw a beautiful picture of Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna and thought I would like to make it for our Vegan Thursday entrée along with some roasted green beans, red pepper and cabbage slivers. Butternut Squash is often used in dishes as part of creating the color and mouth feel of a cheese dish. Alas, the recipe turned out not to be vegan. I went to work on my own version.
I built this dish based on a “Moroccan Eggplant Parmesan” dish I created several years ago. That dish included fried eggplant Middle Eastern style (without breading). The eggplant develops a great texture and is a wonderful addition to these layered vegetable dishes. It also included chickpeas and Matboukha, a Middle Eastern “salad” that we call Moroccan Salsa. I’ll post that recipe as soon as I finish this one.
I forgot to sprinkle capers on my lunch above, but they would make a great addition to the dish!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SPINACH LASAGNA
- Butternut Squash, 2 lb. after peeled and cut
- Spinach, 1/4 lb.
- Eggplant, 1 regular
- Matboukha (see recipe), 2 cups
- Green onions, 3-4
- Tomatoes, 2 plum
- Chickpeas, 1/2 – 1 cup dried
- Whole wheat lasagna, 8 strips (about half a box)
- Parsley or cilantro, a little for garnish
- Prepare each ingredient for the layers separately. Start with the beans, which take longest. Soak overnight, discard water. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, drain. Repeat process. After the second boil, add water to cover, bring to simmer, and cook until soft. Drain chickpeas and set aside.
- Make the Matboukha (you can also use a bottled spaghetti sauce, seasoned to your taste).
- Cut eggplant into round “steaks,” about 1/2″ thick. Salt and drain overnight or for several hours. Pat dry, deep fry or saute both sides in a pan. When light brown, remove from heat to a paper towel.
- Peel and cut the squash. Cook in a small amount of water until tender. Drain (if needed) and mash slightly. Set aside. I have a hard time peeling butternut squash, so I’m going to try roasting the squash next time and scooping out the contents.
- Wash and chop the spinach and set aside.
- Cook lasagna in salted water with a few drops of oil until al dente. Use a large shallow pan so strips can lie flat.
- Using a deep 8″ x 8″ pan, layer everything twice in this order: lasagna strips, cooked and mashed butternut squash, cooked chickpeas, spinach, fried eggplant, chopped green onions, Matboukha, sliced tomato.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven. Add a little Matboukha to the top and/or chopped parsley garnish.
- Serve and enjoy.