Until about a year ago, I had never made lasagne. In my head, they were difficult, time consuming and easy to ruin.
Then I tried to make one and found out that, while they can take some time to assemble, they aren’t particularly hard. Since that first fateful foray into the land of lasagne, I have experimented with various combinations of ingredients. I think our favourite was mushroom and beetroot with an unsuccessful beetroot soup being upcycled into a very successful lasagne sauce.
I didn’t think it was kale season just yet. I thought it was more a winter vegetable, but when I saw some in a supermarket the other day, I couldn’t resist it.
This recipe is tweaked from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day and gave us six generous portions. (We dug in before I remembered to snap a pic. Oops!)
Mushroom and Kale Lasagne
150g of Kale
250g of Mushrooms
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 Teaspoons of Dried Herbs (whatever you have)
About 9 Lasagne Sheets
40g of Hard Cheese
Salt and Pepper
750mls of Milk
1 Bay Leaf
1 Celery Stick
6 Black Peppercorns
50g Plain Flour
2 Teaspoons of Mustard
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Lightly oil a 23cm square casserole dish.
Chop the onion roughly.
Clean and quarter the mushrooms.
Clean the kale and remove any tough stalks.
Clean the celery and cut off any hard ends as well as the leaves.
Grate the cheese.
Put the milk in a saucepan with the whole peppercorns, bay leaf, chopped onion and the celery.
Heat the milk until it is simmering. Milk boils over in no time, so keep an eye on it!
Once the milk has reached simmering point, take it off the heat and leave it to infuse.
Put the kale in a saucepan and just about cover it with water.
Put a lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil, then leave it to steam.
Heat 50g of butter in a large frying pan or wok.
Add the mushrooms with a generous grinding of pepper and some salt.
Fry for about ten minutes, until the mushrooms release their juice.
Stir in the garlic and herbs.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.
Gently reheat the milk then strain it.
Melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour.
Cook it for a minute or so, and remove from the heat.
Pour about a the milk – about 200mls at a time – into the saucepan and beat it until the sauce is smooth.
Put the sauce back on a low heat and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and seasoning.
Drain the kale and stir in half the sauce.
Spread the remaining sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish.
Cover the sauce with three of the lasagne sheets.
Tip the kale over the lasagne sheets and spread evenly.
Cover the kale with three more lasagne sheets.
Spread the cooked mushrooms over the second layer of lasagne.
Put the final layer of lasagne over the mushrooms.
Spread the last of the sauce over the top of the third layer of lasagne.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes.