As mentioned in part 1 of my vegetarian Christmas special, vegetarians are often forgotten during the excited preparation for the traditional Christmas lunch. I hope that with these recipe suggestions that will be a thing of the past.
This time I decided to feature my mushroom lasagna. Everyone is familiar with the traditional bolognaise lasagna and even the common vegetarian versions that feature tomato based sauces. My mushroom lasagna one is different in that it doesn’t include tomato at all but showcases mushrooms. The mushrooms provide an almost meaty texture to the lasagna, which even meat eaters will enjoy.
The wonderful thing about this mushroom lasagna is that it can be prepared in advance and covered and put in the fridge until you are ready to cook it, so you can even make this the day before. While it may not appear the most elegant of dishes it has a wonderful mushroom flavour that is pumped up with the addition of truffle salt, making it a little bit special. Serve it with your favourite roast vegetables or even salad.
Are you vegetarian? What do you normally eat for Christmas lunch?
Mushroom Lasagna recipe
300g of portobello mushrooms, chopped
300g of button mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cloves or garlic, minced
1 brown onion, diced
3 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons of truffle salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of red wine
1. In a large frying pan over a medium heat add the olive oil and onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it starts to become translucent before adding the garlic. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
2. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms cook down.
3. Add the red wine and cook for a 5 minutes.
4. Set aside to cool completely. During the cooling time the mushrooms will reabsorb the moisture they lost during the cooking process.
Bechemel sauce recipe
Adapted from Laura Calder’s Bechemel Sauce
500ml of milk (skim milk is fine, and in fact it’s what I use)
1 bay leaf
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
60g of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 . Pour the milk into a jug and add the bay leaf and garlic and steep for 15 minutes.
2. In a saucepan over a medium-low heat melt the butter before whisking in the flour. Cook for a minute to remove the flour taste.
3. Remove the garlic and bay leaf from the milk and gradually whisk in.
4. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce reaches your preferred thickness. I prefer not to make the sauce too thick so it spreads easily over the lasagna.
5. Add the salt and pepper along with the parmesan and stir until combined.
Fresh lasagna sheets
60g of parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Grease your lasanga dish with butter and line the base with a lasagna sheet.
2. Cover with half the mushroom mixture and cover the mushrooms with 1/3 of the bechemel sauce.
3. Repeat ending with a final lasagna sheet topped with the bechemel sauce. Top with the grated parmesan.
4. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the lasagna sheets are tender and the top is golden.