From Garden to Market to Table
(pictured above, some of the Bay Meadows Farmers Market team: Soli, Sid, Whitney, Stephanie)
The Parandians don’t need to walk far to gather the freshest ingredients for their home-cooking. Soli and Alex stroll to their nearby plot in Bay Meadows’ community garden to harvest a head of cabbage, some zucchini and herbs. Next stop, since it’s Sunday, is the new Farmers Market Bay Meadows where Soli is an occasional volunteer and a dedicated shopper. The market is just across the street from their new home at Meadow Walk, so it’s practically the couple’s “front yard.”
Given the lingering fog in the late August skies, Soli’s plan is to whip up a batch of comforting and healthful noodle-free lasagna. While she and Alex don’t raise chickens, thankfully there are eggs courtesy of Shelly’s Farm Fresh, found every week at the Market. Plus, it’s tomato season!
Read on to see Soli’s neat trick for substituting zucchini strands for noodles. And then shop the Farmers Market, so you can prepare and enjoy the dish yourself!
2 large zucchini
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F . Grease a deep 9×13 inch baking pan.
Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt; set aside to drain in a colander.
To prepare the meat sauce, cook and stir ground beef and black pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add in green pepper and onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomato , basil, and oregano, adding a small amount of hot water if sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, stir egg, ricotta, and parsley together in a bowl until well combined.To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of prepared pan. Then layer 1/2 the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, followed by all of the mushrooms, then 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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