Wednesday, July 28, 2010

50 mile meal - take 7

Why was I craving lasagna during Charlotte's worst heat wave since the dawn of time? Dunno. But I was.

Lasagna's so user friendly. Relatively easy to prepare, buy produce for, reheat, freeze, take to potlucks, etc. Since this is a local lasagna, there are some twists to my standard recipe. I'm going to list the fillings I used, but only provide recipes for the interesting layers.

Arugula Custard
makes enough for one layer of a 6-8 serving lasagna

1/2 pound arugula
2 eggs, scrambled
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Wash your 'rugula. Blanch it, rinse under cold water, squeeze some water out, set aside.

In a blender, put cream, flour, salt and pepper, and run until smooth. Add arugula. Pulse until it looks like pesto. Remove to bowl, stir in eggs. Set aside until ready to use.

Goat Cheese Bechamel

If you're using garden fresh 'maters in your lasagna then tomato sauce might seem a tad superfluous. Try this almost-Alfredo style sauce instead. Use a highly flavorful, local goat cheese if you can - check out the beauty below, from OakMoon Creamery:

1 pint cream or milk (if using cream, you'll need to use a tad more goat cheese than is called for here)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
8oz round of your favorite strongly flavored goat cheese (I removed some of the pepper rind on mine, but not all)
salt to taste
1 small clove garlic, minced
herbs of your choice (chives, freshly minced, used here)

Melt your butter in a saucepan. Add garlic, if using. Grab a whisk. Add your flour and mix to a paste, and stir for 3 minutes, until you start to smell the flour brown. While whisking, pour in your cream. Over medium-high heat, stir the sauce until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add your goat cheese and switch to a spoon. Stir until melted and incorporated. Add your herbs, taste, salt as necessary. If you aren't using your bechamel immediately, cover it with cling wrap to avoid a skin.

So! In our super-summery lasagna, the layering went like this, bottom to top (hot tip! when layering lasagna, put your "toughest" veggies on the bottom layers, so when you slice it, the other fillings don't squeeze out all over the friggin' place):

Ladle of bechamel
1 fresh pasta noodle (if you're in Charlotte, go to pasta and provisions NOW and buy some of their organic spelt pasta. It is amazing, and for 6 bucks, you'll have more than you need. No boil lasagna noodles'll work fine here to).
Roasted new potatoes
Ladle of bechamel
Roasted summer squash
Ladle of bechamel
Roasted red pepper and vidalia onion saute
Ladle of bechamel
2 thick sliced fresh tomatoes, peeled, salted, tossed with  1 tablespoon fresh garlic
Ladle of bechamel
Arugula custard, recipe above
Pour the rest of the bechamel over the top. If you're using no-boil noodles, cover with foil. Bake in a 375f oven for 40-45 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Let rest 10 minutes before digging in.


  1. Goat cheese b├ęchamel sounds absolutely heavenly! Gorgeous lasagna.

  2. It's so good, albeit milder than a parm-based sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of honey for something really special :)