We Have a New Guest Chef – Mel’s Leek & Greens Lasagne

Greetings All.  Even though I still have a few more posts to make to my series on Spain to make it complete, I thought it was time I got back to “Kitchen” business too.  A few of you have sent in some amazing dishes and recipes to be featured on my Guest Chef Series.  In due time, I will do my best to feature all of your delicious recipes.  I want everyone to see the fabulous dishes that have been coming from your kitchens too.

This month’s Guest Chef recipe is for Leek and Greens Lasagne, submitted by my friend Mel at crushedcaramel, courtesy of a recipe she discovered on the BBC website.  I am excited that so many people are interested in my Guest Chef Series.  I love to see what you all cook in your kitchens.  I learn so much and have been inspired by all the recipes and fun photos you send me.  Mel has balanced out the meal with a healthy, tasty looking salad as well as some garlic bread.  This is a vegetarian version of lasagne, so it is a little less fattening, and a bit healthier than the traditional meat and sausage lasagne.  Enjoy and mangia!

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Leeks & Greens Lasagne

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1 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
1 bay leaf
rosemary sprig, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 leeks, finely sliced
40g plain flour
500ml milk
fresh nutmeg, for grating
75g cheddar, grated
30g parmesan, grated

Heat 1 tbsp oil with the butter over a medium heat. Add the bay leaf, rosemary and finely sliced leek, season and cook for a few mins until the leek has softened.

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Tip the flour into the pan and cook for 1 min more until the roux smells nutty. Remove from the heat, slowly pour in the milk and whisking out any lumps. Return to the heat and whisk slowly until thick and smooth, about 5 mins. Season well with grated nutmeg, then add cheddar and Parmesan, cooking until they are melted. Set aside.
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Next, it is time to make the leek and greens mixture that will make up most of the filling in the lasagne. Here are the ingredients needed:
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2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed, or more as desired – Mel is definitely a “girl after my own heart” and she added more garlic, just like I would
½ green chili, sliced
400g mixed green leaves, such as kale, chard and spinach, roughly chopped
100ml dry white wine of your choice
Heat 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat and fry the garlic and chili for a couple of mins until aromatic.
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Add the rest of the leeks, season and fry until softened.
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Add the mixed greens and adjust the seasoning as needed.  Cook the vegetables, stirring, until the greens have wilted, (about 4 mins), then pour in the wine and cook until it evaporates.
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Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 or 350* F.
Here are the rest of the ingredients that will be needed for the lasagne:
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Olive oil to grease the tin
100g walnuts
280g jar preserved artichoke hearts in oil, drained
100g ricotta
6 dried lasagne sheets

And these are the steps the recipe described for assembling the lasagne:

  • Oil a medium roasting tin (about 20cm square) and
  • Tip half the greens into the tin.
  • Dot half the walnuts over the top, and nestle in a third of the artichoke hearts. Dot over half the ricotta.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the leek bechamel and pour over a third of it.
  • Top with three lasagne sheets to cover everything in a layer.
  • Repeat the process
  • Cover the top layer of lasagne sheets with the remaining bechamel and artichokes and then scatter over the remaining cheese.

 

Then of course we need to slip the lasagne into the oven and bake! In the meantime, you have the rest of that bottle of wine to keep you busy.   Oh, I definitely like Mel’s way of thinking here.  She is absolutely a kindred spirit of mine.  Notice how I kept this part bold?  I think this is a very important part of the process.  🙂

After 30-40 minutes, it should be golden and bubbling and looking delicious.

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It will be scalding hot, so it needs to rest for a good ten minutes before you tuck into it.

For me a lasagne is not really complete without a salad and a hunk or garlic bread.  I could not agree more Mel.  Yummy!!!

You might remember Mel, Gary and I all worked together on the very fun, very successful 1st Annual Great Blogger Baker-Off that took place not so long ago.  I am hoping we can do that again this year as well. 

Many, many thanks to Mel for submitting this recipe and for all her hard work.  You definitely need to go to her website at crushedcaramel and see what’s going on in her world.  

My “Guest Chef Series” is an ongoing event, and I am always up to see what you are cooking.  There are no restrictions.  it’s up to you and your creativity.  So …. What’s cooking in your kitchen?

 

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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