Antioxidant-packed greens and mushrooms are layered with a creamy bechamel sauce for a decadent vegetarian lasagna.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 large bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Salt and white pepper or finely ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, broken into hand by small pieces
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms and/or hen of the woods (maitake) mushrooms, thinly sliced or pulled into pieces
- 1 large shallot
- 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
- 1 large bundle Swiss chard (1¼-1½ pounds at full weight), stemmed
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 cups cow’s or sheep’s milk ricotta, drained
- 15-20 no-boil lasagna pasta sheets
- 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 cups Fontina val d’Aosta cheese or similar fontina/easy melting cheese (½ pound)
- 1/4 cup your favorite fresh herbs (such as dill, chives and parsley), finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
In a medium saucepot, warm milk over medium-low heat with bay leaf.
In a skillet, melt butter and when it foams, whisk in flour and stream in milk. Season with salt, white or fine black pepper and nutmeg, and thicken to coat spoon then remove from heat.
In a small pot, heat stock and porcini mushrooms over moderate heat to plump.
In a large skillet, heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, add mushrooms and brown, then add shallot, garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and wilt in the greens. Remove porcini from stock, chop and add to pan, then add in all but last few spoonfuls of stock (where grit may settle). Add juice of ½ lemon. Remove from heat.
Mix ricotta with lemon zest.
In a square 3-quart casserole or shallow rectangular casserole, layer one-third of the béchamel and pasta sheets, dollop with half the ricotta, sprinkle with parm, top with half the mushrooms and greens, then repeat. Top lasagna with a last layer of pasta sheets, remaining white sauce and Fontina cheese. Bake covered 30 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.