A couple weeks ago I had a cough that wouldn’t go away, so after days of resisting, I finally gave in and took a couple of Primatene tablets. You may or may not know this about me, but I don’t drink or do any drugs, so cough medicine typically gets me pretty drunk. Needless to say, Ephedrine, which is the active ingredient in Primatene, makes me batshit crazy. It was during this Primatene high that I looked up at Tony – up, because I was laying on the floor letting my dog run all over my face – and said, “I’m gonna make lasagna dip.”
Even though I have since sobered up, and gotten over my cough, I’ve been dreaming of lasagna dip ever since. It just so happens that I have also been plotting a Garfield Halloween costume for weeks, so I thought the party I’m attending tonight would be the perfect time to unveil this stoner creation on the world.
Full disclosure – the title of this post isn’t meant to be misleading, but it might be. I said five steps. I didn’t say five “easy” steps. I didn’t say five “quick” steps. I said five steps. Each step is actually a pretty significant amount of work, so Odie bless you if you actually try and make this beast. Someone already asked if you could make this into baked lasagna, and the answer is yes. Just add pasta, and bake.
1. Make the Meat
I wanted to make each layer from scratch, so I skipped the packaged “beef” crumbles and opted to pulse together a combination of walnuts and cauliflower instead. You could also use lentils instead of cauliflower, but I really wanted the seasoning to come through and thought lentils might cover it up.
Get the Recipe
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups whole walnuts
- 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- Fennel to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form a beef-like crumble. Spread onto a greased baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.
2. Sauce it Up
You can easily grab a jar of sauce if you don’t want to make your own, but I felt like being a crazy person.
Get the Recipe
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 6 oz. water
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp ground pepper Directions: In a medium pot over medium-high heat, stir together the tomato paste, water and olive oil. Bring to a boil, and allow it to boil for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cover the pot and lower the heat to simmer for 5-8 minutes.
3. A Simple Ricotta
I normally make vegan ricotta from cashews, but since there were already so many nuts going into this dip, I wanted to use tofu instead. I decided not to reinvent the wheel here, and just used Happy Herbivore’s recipe.
4. Tip Top
Choosing toppings is going to be a personal process for you – what do you like in your lasagna? Since I was cooking for a party, I decided not to layer in my favorite lasagna ingredients, but rather to place them on top so anyone who doesn’t like them can bypass them for the rest of the dip. I personally just like some black olives, basil and roasted garlic so I decided to top mine with a vegan pesto, sliced olives and a whole head of roasted garlic.
5. Get Dressed
If you really want to make this a memorable experience, you’ll dress up like Garfield to serve it. I mean, that’s what I’m doing. But, if you want to be lame and just serve it in your lame human form, divide each of the first three components into 2-3 parts and spread them in a shallow glass dish or a glass bowl (so you can see the layers, duh). You’ll see pretty quickly where you might want to add more red or green. I decided to use some ricotta on top so the green pesto would pop.
I know this was a little departure from my usual #FridayFive posts, but it’s what Garfield would want.