Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fresh from other people's gardens

No, I haven't been doing a little surreptitious late-night foraging around the neighbourhood! When I was having dinner with Lauren last night, she presented me with some beautiful courgettes from her garden, as well as a reasonable bunch of spinach out of a huge bagful she'd got from someone at work.

Since I'm cooking a Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, then heading off to Blenheim on Christmas Day, I really needed to use up this generously given produce today. Flicking through my Edmonds book, I found a recipe that uses both courgettes and spinach: vegetarian lasagne (p104)

I had a huge list of other things to get done tonight, so I made a start on the lasagne as soon as I arrived home, beginning by cutting up all the veges and washing the spinach. I wasn't sticking precisely to the recipe; I left out the leek and used more courgette and onion instead.

You cook all the veges except the spinach in a frying pan. When these have softened up enough, you add a bit of flour and cook 'until frothy'. Meanwhile, you've wilted the spinach in another pan and drained off the liquid. This liquid is mixed with milk and added gradually to the frying pan full of veges, thickening up with the flour and making a sauce.

I read the recipe over and over but I couldn't see anything that told you when to add the spinach to the other veges. I can't imagine it's wanted just for the cooking liquid! Lacking specific instructions, I added it to the pan before starting on the sauce.

From there, it's pretty easy - just layer pasta with the veges in a casserole dish, beat yoghurt with egg and pour that over the top, then sprinkle with cheese and bake.

It's not a difficult dish to make, but it sure generates a lot of dishes:  (1 frying pan; 2 saucepans; 1 casserole dish). I think that would deter me from making it very often, which is a shame, because it's quite nice.

Since I didn't stick precisely to the ingredients, I can't give much of an opinion on the lasagne as it's supposed to be, but my one was nice and creamy with a lovely tang from the yoghurty cheesy topping. So if you don't mind creating a lot of dishes, have a go at this one!

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