Pasta free Vegetable Lasagne - warming Winter food but great for Summer too!
Eggplants and Zucchinis have been in season so are not only more affordable, but fresh! Given I had some wonderful vegetables from the market AND the garden I thought I would put something together that resembled a lasagne.. Truth is that there are two things ONLY that suggest that this could be some sort of lasagne. 1... It's layered... 2 It's got the most irresistible bechamel sauce.
So if you would like to follow my recipe, you will need (and remember that you can use any vegetables YOU prefer..) Eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, kale, silverbeet, garlic, red onion, tomato, sweet potato, brussel sprouts (you could use a little cabbage instead)
If you don't have all of these things by all means use what you have in your crisper. Just make sure you have 5 different vegetables along with the staples of onion, tomato, garlic and herbs.
Serves 6 (Great for lunch the next day if you don't have a big family - or a great dinner party option)
- 1 large Eggplant
- 2 large zucchini finely sliced
- 1 med red onion finely sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 large leaves of kale (stalk removed)
- 2 cups cubed butternut pumpkin
- 2 cups of roughly chopped silverbeet
- 4 cups roughly chopped roma tomatoes (or very ripe tomatoes)
- 1 cup finely shredded brussel sprouts
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed
- 4 free range eggs
- 1 cup full thickened cream
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and stalk discarded
- 100 grams unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 2 1/2 cups full cream milk
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees (mine is fan forced)
Take the milk for the bechamel sauce out of the fridge now. Set aside for later.
Start by slicing the eggplant (round pieces) 5cm thick. Place them in a baking dish with some salt and olive oil. Mix with your hands. Place the pumpkin in a separate baking dish with a little olive oil and salt. Now cover both dishes with alfoil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Eggplant on the top rack if you can.
In the mean time:
Start by cracking the eggs into a bowl and whisking until creamy. Add the cream and half the herbs to the eggs and whisk for another 30 seconds. Set aside.
Mix the tomatoes with the crushed garlic. Stir well. Set aside.
Using a lasagne dish, drizzle some olive oil into the bottom. Now add half the tomatoes/garlic mix and half the red onion, making sure the base of the dish is covered and tossing together so it is well coated in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Layer half the zucchini on top of the tomatoes. Now pour the egg and cream mixture so it is evenly distributed over the entire dish.
Have a cup of tea until the eggplant and pumpkin is ready ****I would let it all cool before adding to the lasagne dish
Now the layering begins!
So on top of the zucchini add:
- 1/2 the eggplant -
- All kale
- Remainder of the tomatoes/garlic
- All the Brussel Sprouts
- Remainder of the onions
- All the Silverbeet
- All the pumpkin
- Remainder of the zucchini
Now it's time for the BECHAMEL SAUCE!
Heat a non stick medium pot. On medium heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Now add the flour, whisking slowly, until the butter has been absorbed. Turn the heat to low-med and gradually add the milk - continually whisking.
Slowly but surely it will turn into a thick wonderful creamy sauce. Ensure there are no bumps! Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
Turn the heat off and add the cheddar and the parmesan to the bechamel sauce. Continue whisking slowly until it has all melted and you again have a smooth consistency.
Poor the bechamel sauce over the lasagne evenly as possible. Using a spatula, flatten it out to ensure the dish has an even top layer of the sauce.
Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the top of the lasagne.
Place in the over at 190 degrees for 40 minutes. Or until golden brown on top. I found the middle tray in the oven to be best.
*If you find the lasagne going dark on top quickly, cover in alfoil and put it back in the oven.
Bon Appetito! xx