Jazzing up or tweaking the original ingredients are two ways to turn an ordinary everyday dish into an extraordinary culinary creation. For example, take something normal like lasagna, substitute tortillas for pasta, salsa for tomato sauce, pinto beans for ground meat, vegetable puree for béchamel, pepper jack for fresh mozzarella and voila you have a whole new dish that is both dazzling and delicious. Not only is this Mexican-style lasagna easier to make and less time consuming than the standard Italian version, it is also a one-hundred percent vegetarian friendly meal! If you have time whip up a quick guacamole to snack on with blue chips while the lasagna bakes. The perfect accompaniment: an icy cold Corona Light. To enjoy this for dinner tonight,
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Nonstick cooking spray
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup prepared salsa (mild or medium)
8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- In a food processor, combine cilantro, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with as much spinach as will fit; pulse, adding remaining spinach in batches, until coarsely chopped.
- Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly).
- Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing in gently.
- Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.