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This recipe was inspired by a Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Lasagna recipe posted by Lottie + Doof. Za’atar is one of my favorite new spice blends, and I’ve been looking at using it lately in a wider context of flavors. How it would blend with traditional Italian seasonings was intriguing, and I’m glad to say it’s a good match. The za’atar isn’t super prevalent in this dish, but I think the nuttiness kind of rounds out the flavors going on here and gives good balance for the fatty “cheese” and sweet veggies.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Vegan Za’atar Lasagna

1 large Italian eggplant
Fat of choice
Head of garlic (about 10 cloves)
1 small onion
1 small butternut squash
400g (about 14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. za’atar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Curry powder (I used madras)
Salt & pepper
1/4 c. sliced green olives
Nutritional yeast

For the Vegan Ricotta

1 c. raw cashews
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 small cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. onion powder
Salt & pepper

First, set your cashews to soak in warm water. You want these to soak for at least 20 minutes.

Next, set your oven to 200C and cover a baking sheet with foil. Cut the eggplant into roughly 1 inch cubes, sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper & curry and roast 20 – 25 minutes or until browning and soft.

While the eggplant is working, dice the onion and garlic and add to a large pan over medium – medium-low heat with a couple Tablespoons fat. Saute until translucent.

Add the tomatoes, za’atar, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Crush the tomatoes with your stirring spoon if they are not already crushed and cook an additional 3 – 5 minutes to marry the flavors.

When the eggplant is done, make the ricotta by blending all ingredients with enough water to make the mixture go but not get too thin.

Slice the butternut squash width-wise into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick rounds (remove the seeds of the seeded end and cut into moons).

To assemble, cover the bottom of a baking pan with a little sauce, a layer of squash, a later of ricotta, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, and a layer of eggplant. Repeat, ending with sauce.

Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until the squash is soft. Serve sprinkled with olives.