Monday, May 24, 2010

Mushroom/Broccoli Raab/Lemon Lasagna. Dig it.

I made this a while ago, and never posted it because, well, I don't typically photograph everything I make, and even when I do, I don't post all of the dishes that I photograph. But when I was reading Cathy Erway's blog here, her amazing looking dish reminded me of my own variation of these flavors. There is just something awesome that happens when you mix lemon zest with broccoli raab. It becomes...alive! The lemony flavors mixed with the bitter broc combine to play fascinating tricks on your taste buds. The mushrooms in this recipe only add to the richness of the dish. I also think the ingredients could be restructured to not be a lasagna but, you know me, I'm really into baked dishes, casseroles and the like. So I made lasagna, inspired by an old Cooks Illustrated recipe for a much different mushroom lasagna.

So here is the ingredient list for this awesome piece of work:
  • 1 bunch broccoli raab, chopped into 1" pieces
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T butter
  • 30 oz cremini mushrooms, roughly diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • fresh parsley, roughly chopped (2 T for cooking w/ mushrooms, 2 T for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/4 c dry vermouth
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 c milk
  • box cooked lasagna noodles, set on a baking sheet so they don't stick (or the no-bake kind will do)
  • 6-8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  •  1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
Blanch the broccoli raab in boiling very salted water (it should taste like the ocean). Drain and set aside--you won't use it till the layering of the dish. 
In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, stir and cook until unions are translucent. Add the butter to the pan and melt it. Add the mushrooms, and cook until liquid has been expelled and largely evaporated, about 10-15 min on medium heat. Add seasonings and vermouth. Stir, cook another 5 min. Add the parsley, stir. Add 2 T flour and milk. Whisk in pan to create a mushroom sauce. 
In a 9x9 baking dish, spoon some mushroom sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay out first layer of noodles. Top with broccoli raab, then ricotta, then mushrooms with sauce, and a light sprinkling of mozzarella. Repeat with two more layers of noodles. Atop last layer, sprinkle remaining mozzarella, spray a heavy piece of aluminum foil with oil, cover dish, and bake at 350 for 45 min. Remove from oven, top with fresh parsley and lemon zest. Wowie.

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