I know, another Vegan Lasagna Stack. But really can you have too many? The last Raw & Vegan Lasagna Stack I posted was slightly more traditional, with tomato sauce and plentiful Italian herbs often found in lasagna. It was recently featured in a Keep the Oven Off! No Cook Recipe Round-up on Plum Deluxe, which got me thinking about creating a new one that honored summertime in both lightness AND oven-off-ness.
So like a lot of my posts here at Bare Root, this came together based on what showed up in my CSA box this past Friday. Assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes, zucchini, a HUGE bunch of amazing-smelling fresh basil, and a little bunch of fresh mint are all stars in this show.
This stack uses zucchini, which has been showing up in my CSA box every week since summer began, and light & crispy english cucumbers as the foundation. One of the in-between layers is a Mint & Lime Pesto "Cheese," which is much like a pesto in using a nut as a base and also like a cheese in the resulting creamy, spreadable texture. The mint and lime are subtle, but still bring a brightness that is 100% summer in every bite.
The other layer is an Italianized chunky salsa or pico de gallo. Heirloom cherry tomatoes, local & organic sweet white corn (which we cannot get enough of these days, as exhibited here), the fresh basil, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Did you know you could eat corn raw?
I actually had no idea, myself, as I'd just never thought to try it before! I tried it and sure enough, it's still really tender and flavorful, albeit slightly crunchy in its au natural state. I'll admit, I prefer it with some yummy charred bits, but eaten raw pulls a close second.
Raw & Vegan Summer Lasagna Stack
1 large english cucumber
1 large zucchini
Tomato, Corn & Basil Mix (recipe below)
Mint & Lime Pesto "Cheese" (recipe below)
fresh basil, for garnish
To prep the cucumber and zucchini, cut each in half and then in long slices lengthwise for layering (you'll need to end up with at least 16 slices each cucumber and zucchini). Dice the fresh basil for garnish.
Begin the stack by placing 2 slices of either zucchini down on a plate. Spread a thin layer of the Mint & Lime Pesto "Cheese" on top. Then place 2 slices of cucumber down on top of the "cheese" and press down lightly. Top with a small amount of the Tomato, Corn & Basil Mix. Top with 2 more slices of zucchini. Spread another thin layer of the "cheese" down. Top with another 2 slices of cucumber. And finish with a scoop of the tomato mix and a sprinkle of fresh basil.
Repeat 3 more times and serve stacks at room temperature for best flavor.
Tomato, Corn & Basil Mix
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
2 ears fresh, organic corn, stripped of kernels with a sharp knife
1 T. fresh basil, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 c. EVOO
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. pepper
Mix tomatoes, corn, and basil together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together garlic, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over the veggies and mix until coated.
Mint & Lime Pesto "Cheese"
3/4 c. raw almonds, soaked 4+ hrs
2 limes, juice & zest
30 mint leaves (can adjust to taste)
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 c. EVOO
Place almonds, lime juice & zest, mint, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. Then, with the mixer running, drizzle in EVOO. The resulting mix should be a thick, spreadable paste. Add more EVOO for a runnier consistency.
Last Year: Juicy Citrus Grilled Shrimp