Vegetable lasagne with spinach pesto and cauliflower puree

Is it just me or do you ever think about making the food you just ate at a restaurant, café or food truck? I often think about recreating the dishes we eat. I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing this for but I enjoy trying to figure out the ingredients in a dish and then getting to share the moment with my loved ones.

A few months ago when my sister and I went out for lunch at a cafe near Geelong, we enjoyed a vegetable lasagne with chips and salad. WOW! We both loved this lasagne so much that we could have easily had another piece, if we weren’t already full! My brain started going into over-drive, savouring every mouthful and dissecting the lasagne layer by layer.

There’s nothing like fresh, homemade lasagne and the chef makes it fresh everyday in the kitchen – no already-made lasagne here! This lasagne was just perfection on a plate, you could see every layer and taste every vegetable. Have you ever eaten a vegetable lasagne where the vegetables aren’t cooked properly or certain vegetables overpower the lasagne or there’s too much cheese or sauce or it’s too watery? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you must try this lasagne immediately!

I love experimenting, creating and cooking but I have to say recreating this lasagne has been one of my highlights to date. Without a recipe, using only my sight and taste, I came to the realisation that I need to follow my heart a little more and trust myself with the amazing food I cook. This lasagne is perfect to enjoy all year round and is especially good with chips and salad – try it and let me know how much you love it too.

TIPS:

I used a very sharp knife to cut my vegetables thinly and cooking school teaches you how to slice everything thinly. Please use your mandolin if you’re not confident with cutting thin slices with a knife

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The baking dish I used was quite large – measurements 34cm (L) x 24.5cm (W) x 6cm (D). Enough to feed 2 people for a whole week 🙂

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Please allow the hot cauliflower florets and milk/stock mixture to cool before blitzing – the last thing we want is to burn ourselves due to it splattering while blitzing!

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Spinach pesto adds colour and extra vegetables to this dish without overpowering the lasagne (or the kids knowing)

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Allow the lasagne to stand for at least 20 minutes before slicing – this helps stop the lasagne falling apart and making a mess

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This lasagne takes time to prepare and cook. I love making this on the weekend as there’s more time. You can then enjoy this for the next couple of days – lasagne is always better the next day 😉

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This freezes well – I think 2 weeks would be the maximum otherwise all veggies go soggy once reheated

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Depending on the time of year you make it, the price of vegetables is something to watch for – cauliflower can be expensive in the summer months

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Make this lasagne vegetarian by using vegetable stock in replacement of the chicken stock

 

PREP: 1 hour   COOK: 2 hours   MAKES: 9 large slices (11cm x 8cm)

INGREDIENTS:Vegetable lasagne #1 @MissFoodFairy
CAULIFLOWER PUREE:
2 tablespoons butter
1 head cauliflower (1.5 kilograms), cut into florets
2 cups (500mls) chicken stock
2 cups (500mls) milk
½ cup parmesan
Salt to taste

SPINACH PESTO:
165 grams frozen spinach
70 grams baby spinach
2 tablespoons almond spread
35 grams feta
3 cloves of roasted garlic
1½ tablespoons olive oil
20 grams fresh parsley

FOR THE LASAGNE:
Canola oil spray
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 packet (500 grams / 16) lasagne sheets
½ butternut pumpkin (500 grams), cut into ½ cm slices
2 medium zucchinis, cut lengthways into ½ cm slices
1 jar roasted capsicum (285 grams), sliced into halves
125 grams tasty cheese, grated

TO SERVE:
Hot chips
Salad of your choice

METHOD:
CAULIFLOWER PUREE:
Place all the ingredients, except the salt and parmesan, into a large saucepan. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring to the boil on high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once cool enough, blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Keep aside until needed.

SPINACH PESTO:
Place all the ingredients into your stick blender’s beaker. Blitz until smooth. Keep aside until needed.

Vegetable lasagne step-by-step @MissFoodFairy

ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNE: (photos above)
Heat the oven to 180C. Spray the sides of your baking tray with canola oil spray.

In the bottom of your baking tray (see TIPS for the size I used) place the olive oil.

On a bread board, place four lasagne sheets. Spread the pesto over each sheet then place in the baking tray.

Add a layer of pumpkin on top.

Pour 1/3 of the cauliflower puree, evenly over the pumpkin.

Add a layer of zucchini on top.

Add another layer of pesto-spread lasagne sheets.

Add a layer of roasted capsicum, then top with the last of the pumpkin.

Pour 1/3 of the cauliflower puree, evenly over the pumpkin.

Add the last of the zucchini on top.

Cover with pesto-spread lasagne sheets.

Pour the last of the cauliflower puree on top, so you can’t see any vegetables.

Evenly sprinkle the tasty cheese over the top.

Cover with foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, remove the foil and place the lasagne back in the oven for another 45 minutes, until the cheese turns golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20-25 minutes before slicing.

Serve with hot chips and salad.

Perfection on a plate 🙂

Vegetable lasagne #2 @MissFoodFairy

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This recipe is also on the weekly linkup party, Your Weekly Feed #45, at Land of Zonkt with Kim and Boiled Eggs & Soldiers with Vicki – come joins us for some great recipe inspiration 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Vegetable lasagne with spinach pesto and cauliflower puree

  1. Not sure where that last comment went. Anyway… I had never thought of using spinach as a puree rather than fresh or cooked. I also like the idea of using cauliflower puree as the bechamel sauce. Haven’t cauliflowers gotten expensive though? No longer the food of the poor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unusual Fiona. I found, through my experimenting, that fresh baby spinach wasn’t looking good when cutting for presentation. The puree was a perfect addition for colour without the mess, so to speak. Cauliflower is ridiculously priced! Hopefully it should come down in price for Winter! Béchamel can be heavy but the cauliflower puree is light and adds great flavour. Let me know if you give it a try Fiona 🙂 x

      Like

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