Oh, hi there! I hope you didn’t think that Baked Sundays was all about cakes, cookies and sweet decadence. It’s most certainly also about savory decadence!
What you’re looking at is a lasagna made with a buttermilk bechamel, layers of baby spinach, mushroom, emmentaler , chevre, leek and garlic. The noodles were made by my friend Sydnee. This was a highlight of my weekend in Mendocino.
Make a roux with 4oz (one stick) of butter, and an equal amount by weight of flour (a scant dry cup) Once the roux has cooked for about 10 minutes and has started darkening a bit add a pint of buttermilk and a quart of whole milk (both at room temp), whisking constantly, cook until the bechamel has thickened a bit.
Grate 1 pound of Emmentaler or Gruyere cheese and set aside.
Crumble 8oz of soft chevre and set aside
Saute 1 small leek with 6 large cloves of minced garlic and set aside to cool.
Wilt 1 1/2 pounds of baby spinach and set aside (do not overcook, you just want the leaves to wilt)
Saute 1 1/2 pounds of crimini mushrooms with a bit of butter and olive oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, until cooked, reduced, and dry. While cooking add more oil if needed and hit with a generous splash of white wine to deglaze the pan toward the end of cooking. Set aside to cool. (If you can’t use white wine, then deglaze with water or stock).
If you’re using store bought pasta, while the fillings are cooling, boil the lasagna noodles for HALF the recommenced cooking time, drain, separate, and coat with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. If you’re using freshly made lasagna noodles, do not cook them at all prior to assembly and baking.
Assembly & Baking:
Preheat oven to 375F
in a 9×13 baking dish spread a thin layer of the bechamel, then top with a layer of noodles, cover with more sauce, sprinkle with some of both cheeses and then spread all the spinach over this, top with more sauce, then repeat, noodles, cheeses then the mushrooms, cheeses, sauce more noodles, leek and garlic layer, more cheeses more sauce more noodles (basic layered lasagna assembly).
Top with last of the sauce, cover with parchment, then tightly with heavy duty foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Allow to rest for 20 minutes, slice and serve.
This meal would not have been as nice without my friends Sydnee & Ken and the wonderful generosity they share with their friends. I had a great weekend of decompressing and just enjoying the quiet, lazy moments while scanning the yard for the mountain lion that was on the prowl in the neighborhood. Only Ken was lucky enough to see it, and that was only thanks to the rabbit screaming as the mountain lion snatched it in the backyard.