Seasonal local food recipe No.141: Swiss chard (or spinach), blue cheese and pine nut lasagne

This tasty vegetarian dish is recommended by VegBox Recipes. They say: “This is an amazingly delicious recipe for Swiss chard or spinach lasagne. We kept going back for more.”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 packet of no-cook lasagne sheets
500g Swiss chard (or spinach)
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
200g tub of half-fat creme fraiche (or Greek yoghurt)
75g pine nuts
200g blue cheese, such as Dolcelatte or Gorgonzola
200g mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil

750ml milk
1 oz butter
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour
1 bay leaf
75g parmesan cheese (or Cheddar)

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4, 350F) . Heat a large pan (dry) and add the pine nuts. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown. Put them in a bowl, to stop them burning.

Peel the onion and chop finely. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash the chard or spinach leaves and dry thoroughly (a salad spinner is ideal). Chop roughly.

Gently heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is starting to go translucent. Add the chard or spinach and the nutmeg and stir well. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, until the chard or spinach has wilted.

Mix in the creme fraiche. Crumble the blue cheese and add to the chard or spinach mixture. Grate the mozarella and add. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, put the milk in a pan, add the bay leaf and bring to a gently boil. Simmer for 5 minutes on the lowest heat setting. Remove the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon milk or water, to form a thick paste. Pour into the milk, whisking constantly. Heat gently until the sauce thickens. Simmer gently for 3 minutes. Add more milk (a little at a time) if the sauce is too thick. Then add half ofthe cheese and stir well, to melt it. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Put ¼ of the cheese sauce into the bottom of a lasagne dish (about 9 or 10 inches in length). Cover this with ½ of the chard or spinach mixture. Top with lasagne sheets. Repeat. Top the lasagne with the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the lasagne is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Top tip: this is easier to serve if you let it stand for 10 minutes after baking.

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