Winter's Green Lasagne
Whether you eat strictly by the season or like a little of everything all year round, there is no denying that leafy greens really come into their own at this time of year. The cooler the days, the brighter they shine. This week to celebrate the season of warm mittens, hats and scarves our Petite Produce is a box of green delights.
You may be deliriously happy with a good old bowl of sautéed kale doused with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. You may also fancy some crunchy broccoli with fresh chilli and feta (pop some warm chickpeas through for a yummy salad), or perhaps buttery braised leeks to stir through some white beans; add some dill, lemon and baby spinach and your fish supper is complete.
But, if it’s a green fiesta you’re after, look no further. Winter Greens Lasagne with Blue Cheese and Rosemary is the ultimate family meal of gooey goodness.
Serves 6 or 4 very hungry people
For the filling
1 Broccoli cut into small florets
3 Te Manaia Leeks sliced
1 Bunch of Te Manaia Curly Green Kale stems removed and roughly chopped
1 Bunch of Te Manaia Cavolo Nero (optional) stems removed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of sliced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Bechamel
900ml of Milk
110 Whitestone Windsor Blue cheese
2 loose tablespoons of fresh rosemary
Couple of fresh Bay leaves (optional)
6 lasagne sheets (shop bought, unless you are a moonlighting super hero)
First make the green filling. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat and add the sliced garlic. When the oil is hot but not sizzling push the garlic around once or twice add the leeks and a tablespoon of flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper. Stir gently once or twice and sauté for about 5 mins or until leeks are looking soft and a little opaque. Add broccoli and toss gently, cook for a few minutes and stir through your kale. Pop the lid on and cook until the kale has wilted. Check seasoning, take off the heat and when cool enough transfer veggies into a bowl.
Scald 900ml of milk (heat until just bubbling and steaming) and set aside for a few minutes. In the same pan you used for your greens, add the butter. When melted add the flour and stir with a spatula until well incorporated. Cook out your roux for about a minute until you see little bubbles forming and then gradually add your hot milk. Whisk to avoid lumps and keep whisking until you can no longer see any trace of your roux. Bring to the boil and add the crumbled blue cheese and rosemary, a pinch of salt and pepper and keep whisking until the béchamel is thick and glossy.
In your lasagne dish, ladle in some béchamel and start layering! I prefer more ‘filling’ to pasta so I like two voluptuous layers of greens, two layers of pasta and lashings of béchamel and a few bay leaves and rosemary sprigs on top, but this is your lasagne so you decide! If you live in a house of hungry carnivores, you could try layering in some prosciutto or cooked slices of Cameron Harris Middle bacon.
(For a gluten free option, you can substitute the lasagne sheets for potato. 1-2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced length ways about 1/2 cm think should layer nicely. Blanch for a few minutes before using)
Cook in a preheated oven (175 degrees) for 1 hour with a foil cover and 15 minutes without the foil to brown the top. Eat when hot and gooey and serve with a baby spinach, avocado and parmesan salad.
See, winters not so bad :)