Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raw Living Lasagna

This has to be one of my most proud moments in cooking history, 
and I didn't even cook anything.

Some might even say that it's the best thing they've ever put in their mouth. 


If you didn't already know, I'm in love with The Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach. Not only do I love their hydrotherapy spa, mud baths, pool boys, swinging hammocks, and salt water pool - they happen to have one of my favorite restaurants on the beach called Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill. They serve things like Raw Kale Salad, Fresh Pressed Juice, Grilled Artichokes and one of my favorite dishes - Raw Living Lasagna by Chef Mark Zeitouni.









I happened to find a recipe online for this masterpiece, and gave it a blind shot. I glanced at the ingredients, and decided to go my own direction. I went oil free, and simplified some of the steps. I can't tell you how exciting it was to create this, and how happy I was to finally taste a bite after all the hard work! All the colors, flavors, textures and liveliness in the veggies just make you smile.

I'll break down this recipe into three parts so you can follow along easily - I want everyone to experience this dish! It's best serving/eating immediately. Because there is no added oil to preserve the natural juices in the veggies, the dish can become a bit watery when kept overnight. It's still good and edible with those extra juices! Just not as pretty.

Raw Living Lasagna
Inspired by Chef Mark Zeltouni's Raw Living Lasagna, Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill

Walnut Cheese:

  • 2 cups unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh fennel, you can use the whole thing
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup canned black olives in water
  • 1/4 cup juice from black olives (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
In a VitaMix or Food Processor, blend ingredients together. Place into bowl or container and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Carrot Slaw:
  • 2 heaping cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp good white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Strawberry Heirloom Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 medium sized heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh, ripe strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, dried - not in oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • splash white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients together in VitaMix or Food Processor using the pulse option - you don't want to puree this sauce, it better a little chunky.

Additional Ingredients:
  • 1 large eggplant sliced very thin, vertically or zucchini
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup broccoli sprouts, or alfalfa sprouts

In a medium sized pyrex dish, smear a little tomato sauce on the bottom to start with. Add one layer of eggplant slices, top with a layer of walnut cheese, carrot slaw and more tomato sauce. Repeat layers 3 times ending with eggplant layer on top and a little tomato sauce to finish. Sprinkle top with lemon zest and sprouts. Serve immediately for ultimate enjoyment.

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