Monday, April 12, 2010

Raw. Real. Radiant.

Fresh and vibrant, stacked high with seasonal elements, this is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Call it a vegetable napoleon or vegan lasagna, I have tried several versions from restaurants and delivery services around the city. I decided to attempt Pure Food and Wine's version from their "Raw Food, Real World" cookbook. Layered with basil-pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce and pignoli ricotta, their "Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagna" is one of their best-selling entrees, not to mention, my very first raw dish ever tried and thoroughly tasted!

Vegetable Lasagna
with basil-pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce and pignoli ricotta

pignoli ricotta:
1 cups raw pignoli (pine) nuts, soaked for 1 hour or more
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
6 Tbsp filtered water

Place the pignoli nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the water and process until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta.

tomato sauce
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours or more
1 small to medium tomato, diced
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp sea salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Squeeze and drain as much of the water out of the soaked sun-dried tomatoes as you can. Add the drained tomatoes to a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

basil-pistachio pesto
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined but still chunky.

3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper
3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut in half and then sliced
basil leaves for garnish, sliced

Cut the zucchini crosswise in half. Using a mandoline, cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.

For individual servings, place about 3 zucchini slices, slightly overlapping on each serving plate, creating a square shape. Spread tomato sauce over the zucchini, top with small dollops of "ricotta" and pesto and a few small tomato slices. Repeat twice more. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil leaves.

Leftover lasagna should last in the refrigerator for at least a day or two, though it wont look as brightly colored.


  1. Use "freshly ground pepper" is very important because after 3 month cracked the essentials oils of pepper beginn to leave. But the best is to use Kampot pepper, very tasty and fragrant nothing to compare with supermarket pepper.