Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hearty Vegetable Lasagna





Look at these beautiful colours!


I love a variety of vegetables and the beautiful colours they add to a dish. This lasagna tastes so good and yummy that you will not know that it is actually a meatless lasagna!  No MSG added, just season with a little salt and pepper ^_^



Bell peppers, carrots, onion, brinjal,  king oyster mushroom, celery


The first step in preparing this vegetable lasagna is to cook the tomato based sauce.  As it takes a fair bit of work to chop up the vegetables and to cook the sauce, I will usually cook a big pot and freeze the remaining sauce in small tubs for future meals.  



Chunky Tomato Based Sauce


A few extra steps for a rich and tasty tomato-based sauce:

1) Add a few olive oil-soaked sun-dried tomatoes (about 3 to 4).  Sun-dried tomatoes adds a rich and intense flavour to the sauce.  Cut into thin slices before adding to the sauce.

2) Grill the vegetables to bring out their sweetness and full flavour.  I usually grill bell peppers, zucchini, brinjal etc before adding to the sauce.

3) Add fresh or dried herbs.  Instead of getting a variety of herbs, for simplicity, I just keep a handy bottle of Italian mixed dried herbs in the fridge.

Ingredients:
Vegetables, as shown in above picture
450g whole tomatoes and juice, canned
200g tomato sauce or puree, canned
4 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 cup of water or less


To prepare the tomato sauce:
1) Cut carrots, celery, onions, king oyster mushroom into small cubes.  
2) Cut the bell peppers into halves.  Remove and discard the seeds.  Place bell peppers on baking dish and brush with a little oil and a pinch of salt.  Grill the peppers in preheated oven at 200C till skin is charred.  Remove and wrap the bell peppers loosely with foil (or cover with another baking dish).  After 10 minutes, peel off the charred skin and cut into small cubes (Note: covering the bell pepper after grilling allows the skin to peel off easily).
3) Heat up a sauce pot, add some olive oil.  Cook the chopped carrots and celery over medium-low heat.  Cover and stir frequently.   Cook  for about 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.  Remove and set aside.
4) Add a little more olive oil to the sauce pot and adjust to medium heat.  Add in the chopped onion.  When it turns translucent, add the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs.  When aromatic, add the king oyster mushrooms.  Once the mushroom softens a little, add in the grilled peppers and cooked carrots/celery.  Stir in the canned tomatoes/sauce and a little water.
5) Cover, bring to boil and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Note: I used about half the sauce for this lasagna and freeze the rest in small tubs.



Pan-grill the brinjal before adding to the lasagna


To assemble lasagna:
(makes one 8" square dish, serves about 3 to 4 persons)

Tomato-based sauce (see above)
White sauce (see below)
8 no-boil lasagna sheets
1 to 2 medium-sized brinjal, thinly sliced & pan-grilled
80g feta cheese, crumbled
50g shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella etc)
50g grated Parmesan cheese 

Method:
1) Grease the baking dish.
2) Spread 1/4 of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.  Place a layer of the lasagna sheets (I used 2 sheets per layer to fit my baking dish).  Spread a little white sauce (about 1/5 portion) over the lasagna sheets.  Place a layer of grilled brinjal on the white sauce and sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese over it.  Repeat to make 3 more layers, ending with remaining white sauce on top to fully cover the lasagna sheets.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
3) Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 200C for about 30 minutes.  Remove oil and bake in oven at 180C for another 15 minutes or till top is golden brown.
4) Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 






To prepare white sauce:

2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil
600ml milk
100g shredded cheese
Salt/pepper to taste

1) Heat a sauce pot over low heat, place butter and oil.  Get ready a small balloon whisk.  Once butter has melted, add in the plain flour.  Whisk the flour to combine with the melted butter and cook for about a minute. 
2) Add in the milk, a little at a time.  Whisk the mixture to prevent the flour from getting lumpy.  Add in all the milk and simmer the sauce for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in-between cooking.  Add in the shredded cheese and stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.






2 comments:

  1. I got lasagna sheet at home but havent got the time and idea to cook it. Thanks for this sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are most welcome! Can use the extra sauce for spaghetti or other pasta too.

      Delete

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