Fresh mint and strawberries tend to be infested with aphids, thrips, and other insects. Please see “Kashrut Instructions” below for instructions on checking these for insect infestation.
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 4 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 8 kiwis
- 4 cups strawberries
- 4 cups blackberries
- ½ cup toasted, sliced almonds
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
- Wash and trim strawberries; reserve 8 for garnishing. Wash blackberries and peel kiwi.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
- In a food processor, puree 4 kiwi with 2 Tablespoons sugar. Transfer the puree to a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.
- In the processor, puree half the strawberries with 2 Tablespoons sugar. Strain the puree into a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.
- In the processor, puree half the blackberries with 2 Tablespoons sugar. Strain the puree and set it aside.
- Slice the kiwi into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Slice the strawberries into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Slice the blackberries in half.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of each of the purees to use as a garnish when serving.
- To assemble the lasagna, first cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking pan with 3 pieces of pasta. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta on top and spread it evenly. Pour the kiwi puree over the cheese and arrange the kiwi slices on the puree. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with 1/2 the remaining cheese. Pour the strawberry puree over the cheese and sprinkle with sliced strawberries. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with the remaining cheese. Pour the blackberries puree over the cheese and sprinkle with blackberries. Top with a final layer of pasta.
- Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the lasagna with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and with the toasted almonds. Cut into 8 rectangles and use a spatula to set the pieces on dessert plates. Decorate the plates with dots of reserved purees. Garnish each piece of lasagna with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh Chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.
- If the green crown is to be removed, do so carefully without making a hole in the top of the strawberry. If a hole was made, the strawberry should then be cut in half, allowing you to wash both the inside and outside of the strawberry.
- Briefly soak berries in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Allow the berries to soak for a few minutes.
- Carefully wash off the entire surface of the strawberry.
- Gently dry each strawberry. They may be used without inspection.
- Carefully remove the green leaf of the strawberry without making a hole in the top of the strawberry. If a hole was made, the strawberry should then be cut in half, allowing both the inside and outside of the strawberry to be washed.
- Rub the surface of each individual berry while holding it under a stream of running water. Careful attention should be paid to the area beneath the green leaf at the top of the berry.
Inspection for Long Stem Strawberries:
The beauty of highly-priced long stem strawberries may be marred by contact with water and/or the removal of its green crown. We therefore recommend the following washing procedure:
- Taking an individual strawberry in hand, lift the green leafy crown at the top of the berry and, with a soft brush, e.g., soft bristle paintbrush or women’s make-up brush, brush off entire surface of strawberry.
- Each berry should be carefully inspected under strong light. Thrips may crawl into the crevices of the strawberry seeds. The entire surface area must be visually inspected. A magnifying glass can be a most helpful tool for easy identification of insects.
- If the strawberries are found to be heavily infested, the entire pallet should not be used.