Winter CSAs and Gluten-Free Lasagne
I’m not much for vegetable CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) during the growing season. Whether teaching classes, volunteering, or buying for the business, I’m at farmers’ markets at least once a week and with so much tempting produce, I can’t be tied down to a box picked out by someone else. Come winter, with only occasional farmers’ markets that are sparsely attended and stocked, I’m very happy to sign up for Fresh Picks‘ shares. With three sizes (single, double, and family), Fresh Picks combines local and California organic produce with prepared foods from local companies. It’s delivered to my door Thursday afternoon, which gives me lots to play with over the weekend.
Our share this week included beautiful local Santina Gold potatoes and green leaf lettuce, California scallions, red pepper, radishes, and a large globe eggplant. The prepared item was marinara sauce from Local Folks Foods. I also ordered a quart of un-homogenized flash pasteurized milk from Trader’s Point.
The eggplant and marinara sauce were a natural marriage. Initially, with a multitude of bags of bread crumbs in the freezer, I was thinking Eggplant Parmesan. But after a hefty weekend of eating (burgers and cheese fries at DMK Burger Bar this morning, an Indian buffet as yesterday’s lunch, and a delicious dinner at Carnivale last night), I thought a lighter option would be a healthier choice.
Making homemade ricotta with the whole milk, we turned the eggplant into a gluten free lasagne.
2 globe eggplants
1/4 cup or more of extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ pound ricotta
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sparkling water
1 tablespoon scallion greens, finely chopped
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella
Slice the eggplants 1/3-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and grill on an electric grill, in a grill pan, or on a outdoor barbecue.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Mix together ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, sparkling water, spinach, and herbs in a large bowl.
Pour in 1/2 the marinara in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Lay the slices of eggplant on top of the sauce.
Drop the filling by large spoonfuls on top of the eggplant. top the filling with the remaining slices of eggplant.
Pour the rest of the sauce on top and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.