Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna @ Not Quite Nigella

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

I made this vegetarian lasagna for the Elliott family Christmas Eve dinner. Every time I make a lasagna for Christmas it always goes down well. There’s something just wonderful about creamy carbs that go so well with roasts, ham, potatoes and vegetables. Dare I suggest another category for Christmas… Christmas lasagna? Ok hear me out:

1 – Everyone loves lasagna, just ask Garfield. It’s the ultimate comfort food.

2 – This is a vegetarian lasagne using actually rather modest ingredients (a whole bunch of silverbeet and 250g or 1/2 a pound of mushrooms) so it’s the antithesis of Christmas-time extravagance and yet it’s quite likely that the whole thing will disappear as people help themselves to second servings.

3 – Lasagna is always, ALWAYS best made a day or two ahead of time and kept in the fridge to set all of the layers (a bonus: the flavors develop too). All you have to do on the day is reheat in a 180C/350F oven for 40 minutes.

4 – If you have a Thermomix I am very bossily going to tell you that you simply have to make this vegetarian lasagna because the Thermomix makes very fast work of all the chopping as well as the BEST bechamel sauce. This lasagne does have a lot of bechamel sauce but it gives it that lovely creaminess and texture.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

I must apologize for the photos of the lasagna. The reason why these photos are so rushed is because well a Christmas miracle occurred. We had told the Elliotts to come over at 3pm on Christmas Eve and so that usually means they saunter through the door at 4pm so we based our timing on that. But to our surprise, on the dot of 3pm there was a knock at the door and I was in the middle of photographing this lasagna. It was the Elliotts!

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

“OMG you’re here!” I exclaimed.

Manu laughed and said, “Yeah we used the toll roads!” as if the concept were newly introduced.

“We are exactly on time!” Tuulikki chirped excitedly, probably for the first time in her life.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

At Christmas Eve dinner there was Mr NQN’s mother Tuulikki, his father Roger and his brother Manu. Mr NQN’s parents aren’t together any more and Roger has moved to Thailand but came back for Christmas. There was also Mr NQN’s sister Araluen, her 12 year old daughter Aura and her former partner Anna. Araluen’s fiance Ben wasn’t feeling well so he stayed at home. Araluen and Anna are Aura’s parents and a few years ago Anna transitioned from Paul to Anna and found a new partner Artemis and they live on the Central Coast. Araluen messaged me a few days before asking if Anna could come along, “It’s all a bit new this happy families thing,” she explained. We were very happy to see Anna as we haven’t seen her in years.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

I made this silverbeet and mushroom lasagna for everyone as well as my favorite kale and sweet potato salad which also happens to be vegan. Araluen brought Turkish bread and dips, Manu brought big boxes of cut fruit, Tuulikki brought some hummus (the official Elliott dip), Anna brought roast chicken and wine and Roger brought himself. Everyone but Tuulikki (who is vegan) helped themselves to this lasagna with Manu having seconds. I watched him spear half his slice of lasagna onto a fork and devour it with gusto.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

The Elliotts are very much into playing games – charades, board games they’re all very much up for it. After we opened the Christmas crackers and found some riddles Mr NQN suggested some Christmas riddles with him as the game master. He gave us a range of riddles and Aura, Araluen, Anna and I did well. Poor Tuulikki was a bit confused and Roger kept answering “Time!” as the answer for everything. It got to be so mentally tiring that after a few hours we were exhausted and felt like we needed a nap. But then that’s what Christmas dessert is for and that’s the pep you up with sugar!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you celebrate Christmas Eve? What do you do on that night?

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

Mushroom & Silverbeet Vegetable Lasagna

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: minutes

Cooking time:

Serves:

  • Oil for frying
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 700g/25oz bunch silverbeet or chopped spinach
  • 250g/8.8ozs. mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 250g dried lasagne sheets (8 sheets to make 4 layers)
  • 200g/7oz mozzarella
  • 1 cup/120g/4ozs. grated parmesan

Bechamel sauce

  • 100g/3.5oz butter
  • 100g/3.5oz flour
  • 4 cups/1 liter milk, hot
  • 1 cup/120g/4oz grated parmesan
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Step 1 – Separate the stalks from the greens in the silverbeet. Finely chop the stems and roughly chop the greens and keep separate. Also finely chop the mushrooms. Add oil to a large pot and fry the onions on medium heat until softened (around 5 minutes). Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the chopped silverbeet stems and cook until soft. Then add the mushrooms, thyme and silverbeet greens and sauté for 6-8 minutes until the water is released from the mushrooms and the filling is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Step 2 – Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. In another pot make the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter on medium heat and then stir in the flour and cook for around 1 minute using a spatula. Switch to a whisk and gradually add in the hot milk using the whisk to get rid of any lumps. Add the parmesan cheese, salt and nutmeg and allow to thicken further and taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

Step 3 – Spread a third of the bechamel on the base of a baking dish and layer with two sheets of lasagna. Top with half of the silverbeet mixture, then layer with lasagne sheets and another third of the bechamel, then lasagne sheets and then the rest of the vegetable mixture. Finish off with a layer of lasagne sheets (you should have 4 layers of lasagne sheets in total) and then bechamel. Top with mozzarella and parmesan and bake for 30-35 minutes turning halfway to ensure even browning. Allow to cool for an hour which makes it easier to cut.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

Thermomix Directions

Step 1 – Place the onions in the Thermomix and set to Speed ​​#5, 20 seconds scraping down halfway. Remove and then add garlic and set to Speed ​​#5, 10 seconds and set aside both separately. Separate the stalks from the greens in the silverbeet. Place the stems in the thermomix bowl and set to Speed ​​#5, 15 seconds and keep separate in a bowl. Add the leafy greens and set to Speed ​​#5, 10 seconds and place in another bowl. Add the mushrooms to the Thermomix and set to Speed ​​#5, 10 seconds. Add oil to a large pot and fry the onions first on medium heat until softened (around 5 minutes). Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the finely chopped silverbeet stems and cook until soft. Then add the mushrooms, thyme and silverbeet greens and sauté for 6-8 minutes until the water is released from the mushrooms and the filling is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

Step 2 – Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Make the bechamel sauce. Add the butter, flour, milk, Parmesan, salt and nutmeg into the Thermomix bowl and set for 10 minutes, Speed ​​#4, 90C. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.

Step 3 – Spread a third of the bechamel on the base of a baking dish and layer with two sheets of lasagna. Top with half of the silverbeet mixture, then layer with lasagne sheets and another third of the bechamel, then lasagne sheets and then the rest of the vegetable mixture. Finish off with a layer of lasagne sheets (you should have 4 layers of lasagne sheets in total) and then bechamel. Top with mozzarella and parmesan and bake for 30-35 minutes turning halfway to ensure even browning. Allow to cool for an hour which makes it easier to cut.

Vegetable Vegetarian Lasagna Mushroom & Silverbeet

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