Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegan Raw Lasagna (Gluten-free)

I made this Raw Lasagna two weekends ago.  I perfected vegan pesto and found a great alternative to Parmesan cheese (Nutritional yeast!) while doing it.  I'm excited to share it with you!  Also, note that I sweetened the tomato sauce.  Tomatoes are wonderful, but they can sometimes have a tangy bite to them - I prefer mine to be more rounded and mellow, so I added some agave.  You can eliminate this if you prefer a tangier sauce. 

Please be forewarned that this is an involved recipe.  It's for special occasions or on days where you are super motivated!  I recommend working in stages - prep your veggies and take a break.  Or pre-make the sauces/ricotta one day, and assemble the next day.  I do this with many of my lasagna recipes, since they often take a lot of time.  But when you've prepped part of it the day before, assembly is a breeze!

Raw Lasagna Ingredients:

  • 2 Zucchini (one large + one small (total combined weight ~800 g/2 lbs)
  • 3-4 Heirloom tomatoes


  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup soaked pine nuts
  • 1 small handful of onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce:

  • 1 cup soaked or seasoned in oil Sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 small handful chopped onion
  • 1 small sprig rosemary or thyme
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp agave
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pesto sauce:

  • 1 C tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 C. olive oil (+1 extra Tbsp if needed)
  • 3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Soak nuts at least 1 hour, or overnight.  Process all ricotta ingredients together in a good blender or food processor until creamy. Stop to push down the edges, then blend again.  The cheese is thick, but that's how you want it.

2. Process the tomato sauce in the same way as the ricotta. Again, this should be very thick. [Note: if using unseasoned Sun-dried tomatoes, you may want to add seasonings such as dried oregano, basil, or savory.]

3. Process pesto in a blender or a food processor - start with garlic and pine nuts; then add Nutritional yeast; then add basil; finish by keeping food processor running and drizzling olive oil slowly to make a sauce.  Add as much oil as necessary to make it as thin as you prefer.  [Note: for non-vegan pesto, see recipe here.]

4. Cut very thin slices of fresh zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. If you don't have a mandolin, use a potato peeler to get extra thin zucchini slices and then use two layers in each layer of lasagna. (I sliced zucchini length-wise.)  Cut the tomatoes by hand with an extra sharp knife.

5. Line a 8x12" glass dish with plastic wrap. Spread a thin layer of pesto and ricotta. This will end up being the top so this is for garnish. Arrange the prettiest tomatoes you have on the next level. Next layers, in order:
  • zucchini
  • tomato sauce
  • tomatoes
  • pesto
  • zucchini
  • all the ricotta
  • pesto
  • zucchini
  • tomato sauce
  • more zucchini
  • pesto
  • finish with a layer of tomatoes

6. Cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool. When cooled place a plate over the whole thing and invert. Remove the wrap and let sit at least 30 minutes at room temp. Cut with a serrated knife.

7. Enjoy!  You'll love it!  Tell me what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Trim Tart:
    I think it would be faster for me to fly to Cali to sample yours then to make one for myself. Another option would be to team cook this-just picture it me and your mom our eyes glued to the computer screen and a mandolin in hand while we are trying to figure what the next steps are. I promise to try this over the summer.