First, sorry for the wretched picture. It was taken by me with my little Canon powershot because I’d somehow misplaced the memory card for JiT’s Nikon. Its been found, so we’ll stop subjecting you to my terrible images now ; )
Perhaps I spoke too soon when I said that things were slowing down enough for me to start enjoying the summer. Since my last post, things got a little crazy at work helping my team prepare for a media event in New York (I didn’t have to travel this time), and then I caught a cold. A doozy of a cold too! So, I’ve spent the last week coughing and blowing my nose and generally feeling perplexed at how I can feel so miserable when its almost 90 degrees outside! Luckily, the cold is finally starting to subside and things at work are simmering to a productive but manageable pace, so perhaps we can finally kick back and enjoy life for a bit.
But before I kick up my heels, I feel that we have some catching up to do! First off, the long-promised and worth-the-wait recipe for Garden Veggie and White Sauce Lasagna. Boy do I love this stuff. With a cheesy sauce of sharp cheddar and mozzarella, its vaguely reminicient of macaroni and cheese, but the mix of veggies provide wonderful color and incredible taste. This certainly isn’t a calorie-saver given the layers and layers of cheese, but its a truly delicious way to get a hearty portion of vegetables into your life.
And speaking of veggies, you can pack a ton of them into this dish. Feel free to swap in different veggies based on what you’ve got in the house. This would be wonderful with sweet corn, broccoli, red peppers or even spinach. Get creative and enjoy!
This recipe makes a pan large enough to feed a crowd. Or, do what I do and make it on a weekend and you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch for days thereafter. Its just as good reheated.
Garden Veggie and White Sauce Lasagna
Serves 8 (or save for leftovers; keeps for up to a week)
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained
2 medium carrots, peeled and stems removed
2 or 3 small zuchinnis or summer squashes
1 kohlrahbi, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1 small head of cauliflower, stems removed and florets diced to small pieces
12 ounces light ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a large lasagna pan (9 x 13 inch), set aside. Place carrots, squashes, kohlrabi, onion and garlic in food processor and process until finely chopped. Pour into a large, microwave-safe bowl and add cauliflower. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on a medium setting (if your microwave has a fresh veggie setting, use that) for about 2 minutes, until the veggies are just starting to blanch/soften and their colors are vibrant.
Remove from the microwave and let the veggies cool for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, pour into a colander to remove excess liquid (or use paper towels to squeeze it out). Add ricotta cheese to the veggies and stir until the mixture is evenly combined. Set aside.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir until combined. Cook for about 1 minute. Using a whisk, add milk gradually stirring constantly until mixture is combine. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add cheeses, stirring until cheeses are melted and sauce is thick and evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Begin assembling lasagna, starting with a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of noodles, then the ricotta/vegetable mixture, then a fine layer of mozzarell and cheddar cheeses, then another layer of sauce. Repeat layers until you run out of noodles or the pan is full. End with a layer of shredded cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until cheeses are melting and bubbly and the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let pan rest 10 minutes before serving.