Wednesday, November 17, 2010
roasted vegetable lasagna
As much as I've always complained about how bad dorm food was, I have to admit that there were several things I liked. I loved the hamburgers, crispitos, foot long corndogs, and the all-you-can-eat ice cream (so did my hips).
And then there was the vegetable lasagna...it was vegetarian, healthy, and all of the things that my other favorite dishes were not. And yet...I loved it.
Sometimes I even surprise myself.
Although my college days are past me now, my stomach still growls when I think of that vegetable lasagna. I had to make it, so I created my own recipe. I'm sure it's quite different than the dorm version, but it satisfied my craving nicely. I couldn't get enough of this stuff.
Peel and chop your eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit and sweat for about 30 minutes or so...this takes the moisture out and reduces the bitterness. After it has sweat a while, rinse it off.
Chop up the rest of the veggies and combine with the eggplant in a roasting pan. Toss the veggies in olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil. Roast at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
While those beauties are roasting, make your cream sauce. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and then whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Let this brown for a minute or two.
Slowly add 2 1/2 cups of milk, whisking to get out the lumps. Bring this to a boil, and boil until it's thickened.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon basil, and 1 1/2 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
Then, place 11 ounces of fresh spinach in a nonstick skillet (yes, I know, this recipe requires a lot of dishes!). Stir it over medium heat until the spinach wilts.
Once the spinach has wilted, add the roasted veggies...
...and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture. Mix it well.
To assemble the lasagna, thin out the rest of the sauce by mixing in 1/4 cup of milk. Spread 1/2 of the sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Layer three cooked lasagna noodles on top of the cheese sauce and then top with 1/2 of the vegetable mixture.
Lay down another 3 lasagna noodles, the rest of the vegetable mixture, 3 more cooked noodles, and then the rest of the cheese sauce.
Sprinkle with a little oregano to make it pretty, and then pop it in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
3 T. butter
1/2 cup flour
2 3/4 cup milk, divided
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
2-3 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. salt, divided
1 t. basil, divided
1/4 t. Tabasco
2 cups fresh mushrooms
11 oz. fresh spinach
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 T. olive oil
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let it sweat for 30 minutes; rinse. Toss all vegetables in oil and place in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, basil, and pepper (to taste) and roast at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour; let brown for 1-2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk and boil until thickened. Remove from heat and add Parmesan, Tabasco, mustard, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/2 t. basil. Stir until cheese has melted.
Wilt spinach in nonstick pan and then add the veggies. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture and stir until mixed. Mixed 1/4 cup of milk into the rest of the cheese mixture until smooth. Pour 1/2 of the cheese sauce into a greased casserole dish. Layer cooked lasagna noodles, vegetables, and sauce in the following order - 3 noodles, 1/2 vegetable mixture, 3 noodles, 1/2 vegetable mixture, 3 noodles, then the rest of the sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serves 12-15.
Gluten-free Variation - This works very well with gluten-free noodles and flour...that's what I used!