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April 5, 2013

Spring Vegetable Lasagna

By this point in the season we’re all anxious for something that comes out of the ground, preferably in our own backyards. Any green sprout, edible or not, is a welcome sight.

Today I took the fir boughs off my asparagus and raked out the bed in hopes of a sighting. Nothing yet, there’s still frost in the ground. But very soon there will be a thrilling crop of my very own asparagus…and it took four years to reach this moment!

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image: sassandveracity.com

This is what I will make:

Asparagus, Pea, Spinach Lasagna
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

4 pounds trimmed and quickly steamed asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
1 large white onion, peeled and diced, sautéed in a generous amount of olive oil
3 cups cooked, well drained spinach, chopped
1 cup of stemmed and finely chopped parsley
2 cups of goat cheese crumble OR fresh ricotta, if you prefer ( Lakins’ Gorges Cheese in Rockport, ME makes a fantastic fresh handmade ricotta!)
2 cups of good Parmesan
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 quart of your favorite bechamel recipe, or you may use a jarred white sauce and add a pinch of nutmeg to it
A cup of heavy cream
Salt and pepper
12 or more no boil lasagna noodles

Combine all the vegetables, spinach asparagus, onion and peas, with a bit of white sauce and season with salt and pepper.

In a greased deep lasagna pan, cover the bottom with white sauce thinned with heavy cream.

Layer in noodles, vegetables, cheeses and sauce until you’ve used everything up OR reached the top of the pan. Finish with a layer of noodles and white sauce, sprinkle on more cheese.

Using your best judgement, add a little more heavy cream in the layering process if you think the lasagna needs it; you don’t want it to be dry.

Cover tightly with parchment lined foil and bake for about an hour at 350°.

Let it rest for 20 minutes, covered, before cutting. Enjoy with a big spring salad!

Serves 8-10.

Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.

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