Raw zucchini lasagne with pesto, olives and tomato

Pete Evans' raw zucchini lasagne.
Pete Evans' raw zucchini lasagne. Photo: Mark Roper
Dietary
Dairy-free

This raw vegetable lasagne is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-, egg-, dairy-, and wheat-free.

Ingredients

5 large zucchini

1 bunch basil leaves, picked

12 cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp lemon juice

80ml good-quality extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

baby purple and red basil to garnish, optional

400g macadamia cheese - see recipe

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Tomato olive pesto

½ head broccoli florets (about 300g)

½ cup green Sicilian olives, pitted

200g semidried tomatoes

3 vine-ripened tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

200g button mushrooms

1 long chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped

6 tbsp good-quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Macadamia cheese

320g raw macadamias

4 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. To make the lasagne sheets, cut the zucchini lengthways into 2mm strips on a mandolin or with a sharp knife. Set aside.

2. To make the pesto, place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a little water or oil if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Using a 14cm x 22cm deep rectangular dish or tray, place 6-8 zucchini sheets lengthways in a single layer, slightly overlapping, to cover the base. Brush with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a touch of salt.

4. Evenly spread six tablespoons of pesto over the zucchini layer and sprinkle a few torn basil leaves. Place another single layer of zucchini slices over the basil and brush with a little extra virgin oil and season with salt.

5. Spread six tablespoons of macadamia cheese evenly over the second layer of zucchini, then place another layer of zucchini sheets on top. Spread another six tablespoons of pesto and torn basil over the top. Repeat this process one more time or until you have used up all the ingredients, finishing with zucchini as the top layer. Brush the zucchini with a little oil and season with sea salt.

6. Freeze the finished lasagne for two hours or until frozen. This makes it easy to cut the lasagne into neat portions. When the lasagne has frozen, remove it from the dish and place it on a chopping board. Cut it into six portions and return it to the fridge for one hour to thaw.

7. Just before serving, place the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss through the dressing. Season the tomatoes to taste with salt and pepper.

8. Place the lasagne on to serving plates and top with the tomato salad. Drizzle a little more dressing over the lasagne and finish with some baby basil leaves, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.

Macadamia cheese

1. Soak the macadamias in 750ml water for at least seven hours - overnight is best. Drain off the water and rinse the nuts thoroughly under warm water.

2. Place the macadamias in a food processor and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, then pulse for one minute to combine. Add 240ml water and continue to process until smooth. If the macadamia cheese seems overly thick or dry, gradually add more water and lemon juice to adjust the consistency. The macadamia cheese can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Makes 600g or three cups

Variations: Cashews can be used in place of macadamias. Soak the nuts for two to four hours and halve the added water. You can also add one teaspoon of truffle oil or chilli oil.

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