Sunday, 29 May 2011

Spring Vegetable Lasagne

Sorry about the poor quality of the picture, but I had to take it using my phone; the quality of the dish however was brilliant!

My lovely sister served us this gorgeous lasagne when we went to them for lunch yesterday. She and her husband aren't veggie but she always makes the effort to accommodate my dietary choice; I know I’m lucky and I'm very grateful.

This unusual spring veg lasagne is a veggie take on a Jamie Oliver recipe. I don't have the book but I think it originally had fish of some description as one of the ingredients. (Do you have any idea why anyone would want to put fish in a veggie lasagne? Nope, me neither!) Anyway, having tweaked and changed the recipe somewhat, this has now become my sister’s recipe which I have shamelessly appropriated for future use!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and chopped
3 cloves  garlic, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, reserve tips and cut stalks cut into 2cm pieces
2 mugs of frozen broad beans (or you could use edamame beans)
2 mugs of frozen peas
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
250ml single cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pack fresh lasagne sheets
500g plain cottage cheese
150g grated Bookham’s veggie ‘parmesan’

Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan and sauté the spring onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, broad beans and peas; cook over a medium heat for three minutes then add the lemon rind, mint and thyme; mix well then add the single cream and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes. Season well with plenty of black pepper then turn off the heat.

To assemble the lasagne (this sounds worse than it really is!):

Put a large flameproof dish or tin – sis used a roasting tin – on a low heat and assemble the lasagne whilst it is still over the heat; this will help soften the pasta sheets while you do the assembling.

Put a quarter of the veg in the tin, cover with a layer of lasagne then sprinkle with a third of the parmesan; add another quarter of the veg, cover with another layer of lasagne then spoon over half the cottage cheese; add another quarter of the veg, another layer of lasagne and another third of the parmesan; finally, add the last of the veg, cover with lasagne and the second half of the cottage cheese, arrange the reserved asparagus tips on top then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. If there are any creamy juices left in the frying pan, pour them carefully around the edge of your assembled lasagne. Phew!!

Put the whole thing on a baking tray, place on the middle shelf under a pre-heated grill and leave for about 8-10 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve with a mixed salad and warm ciabatta.

Serves 6.

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