There’s nothing better on a blustery winter day than tasting the freshness of summer. As I walked into a local grocery yesterday, looking for casserole options for the freezer, a rainbow of vegetables enticed me into creating the experimental lasagna described below. I like to think of my life in layers, with experiences and memories creamed, sautéed, tossed or gently folded into each day.

vegetable layer lasagna

To make this twist on an Italian family favorite, I layered pureed vegetables in between lasagna noodles and tomato sauce. For each vegetable layer, I used roughly equal parts per item.

potato layer

For the first layer, I boiled, then smashed together cauliflower, turnips and potatoes. I added a pinch of rosemary and winter savory, and a small amount of non-dairy ricotta cheese. If I could change one thing, I would use less turnip—its peppery zing overpowered the Yukon golds.

crumble layer

I sautéed bay leaf, Poblano pepper, onion, and Boca® crumbles, then added non-dairy ricotta cheese to make the next layer. Marjoram and oregano added more flavor. If I could change one thing, I might choose a cream cheese instead of ricotta.

sweet potato layer

To create the last layer, I boiled, then creamed sweet potatoes, carrots and gold beets. If I could change one thing, I’d use a blender instead of a hand mixer—in the photo, look for the carrot slices that escaped the whirling blades.

I topped the lasagna with tomato sauce and a blend of dried herbs from my garden. I included one of my favorites—hyssop—to lend a buttery depth.

Pickled beets rounded out my kitchen crafting for the winter. I discovered the gold beets have a less earthy flavor than their red counterpart. I used Alton Brown’s recipe from the Beet It episode of Good Eats.

pickled beets