Growing the community

Kale & Silverbeet Lasagna

    

January 15, 2017

Another recipe from non-cook and Market Manager, Kate Raymond (me). I've adapated this from a book of authentic from-scratch Italian cooking. I've tried to incorporate shortcuts while still using fresh, local ingredients.

  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

The Pasta

1 packet lasagna sheets (instant is fine, but I still partly pre-cook and dry the sheets before constructing the lasagna)

The Filling

1 bunch Cavolo Nero (aka Tuscan) kale, stems removed from Queen Street Growers

1 bunch silverbeet, stems removed from Luna Harvest

1 jar marinated mushrooms, strained from Milton Mushrooms

500 g ricotta from Tilba Real Dairy

60 g parmesan, grated from Tilba Real Dairy

The Béchamel Sauce

500 ml milk from Tilba Real Dairy

60 g unsalted butter, melted from Rustic Pantry Wholefoods

3 tbsp plain flour from Rustic Pantry Wholefoods

quarter tsp salt from Rustic Pantry Wholefoods

quarter tsp grated nutmeg (grate your own from whole nutmeg) from Southlands Fruit & Veg

Directions

The Pasta

1Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add 2 or 3 sheets of lasagna at a time and cook for just 1 minute. Remove and lay the sheets out on damp tea towels without overlapping.

The Filling

1Place the kale in a large, lidded saucepan with no extra water, other than what's still hanging on to the leaves after washing. Steam while tossing over a medium heat until it starts to go soft. Add the silverbeet in the same manner (it doesn't need as long). Keep tossing occasionally to cook evenly for about another 5-10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, drain and let it cool until you can handle the cooked greens. Gently squeeze out as much of the remaining water as possible, then finely chop and set aside.

2After straining the marinated mushrooms (you might like to remove the peppercorns), chop them in with the greens until well minced.

The Bechamel Sauce

1Heat the milk to just below boiling point, then keep warm.

2Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Working over a low heat, add the flour and stir with a whisk to get rid of any lumps. Allow the flour and butter paste to heat through for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Don't let the paste go brown.

3Add the hot milk, a splash at a time, stirring constantly to incorporate it thoroughly. Keep adding the milk slowly, splash by splash until about 125ml has been used.

4Make sure the heat is low, or even turn it off at this point. Add the rest of the milk in a slow trickle, stirring all the time. Don't let it get too thin. If you need to, hold back some of the milk. If lumps appear, you are probably adding the milk too quickly or the heat is too high. Use a wooden spoon to press any lumps against the side of the pan, then keep stirring or whisking steadily.

5After adding as much milk as is needed to make a good consistency (not too thick, not too thin), simmer the sauce very gently for another 15 minutes or so. Keep stirring! Add the salt and freshly grated nutmeg during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

The Lasagna

1Preheat the oven to 200C.

2Grease a 25cm x 35cm baking dish.

3Melt the butter.

4Spread a thin layer of béchamel sauce on the base of the dish. Place a layer of lasagna sheets over the sauce, taking care to lay them out so they touch, but don't overlap. Cover the whole dish. Spread another layer of béchamel sauce over that.

5Then spread some of the kale/silverbeet/mushroom mixture.

6Spoon some of the ricotta over the mixture, then sprinkle a handful of parmesan on top.

7Cover with another layer of lasagna sheets, again ensuring they touch but don't overlap.

8Repeat the layering of béchamel sauce, greens mixture, ricotta, parmesan, lasagna until you run out of filling, ending with lasagna sheets.

9Top with béchamel sauce and drizzle with the melted butter.

10Place the baking dish on the second-highest rack in the oven. Bake until the béchamel forms a light golden crust, about 30 minutes (start checking from about 20 minutes). Remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve hot with a mixed and dressed salad.

I use a mixture of kale and silverbeet, as I found only using kale a bit too strong flavoured. The silverbeet helps to add bulk and the mix of flavours is delish. I'll often add extra vegies, according to what season it is. I once added pumpkin and it was fabulous!

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