Spring is spinach season, so today I offer you spinach lasagna. Chances are if you grow or if you buy veggies through Community Supported Agriculture, you’ll have spinach soon, if you don’t already. We’re going to just barely wilt the spinach before we bake the lasagna, so it will remain as green as Spring, with no bitterness!
Some people think they can’t get their kids to eat spinach, but with no bitterness in this recipe, you may find it’s easier than you think. If they’re still not believers, tell them that you’re serving “Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts,” and teach them the song! (Yes, there really is a song. Just Google it.) Given kids’ desire to gross out other people, you’ve just made spinach lasagna a hit.
- 4-5 whole-grain lasagna noodles (you may need to trim them to fit the pan measurements)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- several leek leaves (green part): about two loose cups–If you don’t have leek tops, use 1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely chopped.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup (or a little less or more) milk–start with about 1/4 cup and go up to 1/2 cup
- about 8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1-2 ounces parmesan cheese (I use real Italian parmesan cheese. Even though it’s not local, it’s so special that nothing else compares.)
- optional: select fresh oregano (about two teaspoons-1 teaspoon dried) or basil (2 tablespoons fresh, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Remember: try to buy organic and local if you can.
Prepare whole-wheat lasagna noodles according to package directions. (I used 5 noodles for this recipe, prepared in a 6-cup Pyrex dish, about 6 inches by 8 inches.)
Slice the leeks very thinly across the grain and saute in the olive oil. Crush the garlic and add it too. Let the leeks and garlic sweat but not caramelize for about 5 minutes. Now add 1/4 cup milk and heat gently. Add in about half of the spinach and start to wilt it. Add the rest of the spinach. Cut the parmesan into small pieces. Using a food processor, process everything you’ve prepped up to this point, pulsing to chop the spinach. Add a bit more milk if you need it.
Lightly grease a baking dish. Spoon some of the most liquid of the spinach mixture into the bottom of the pan to cover it. Now put down layer one of lasagna noodles. Spoon on spinach mixture and spread out. Dab on ricotta cheese. Sprinkle on grated mozzarella. Repeat twice more, so that you have three layers. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Let sit for a few minutes before you slice and serve. Enjoy–and be sure to sing the song!
Do you want to make lasagna while camping? You can do it!
Do you have a favorite variation on lasagna you’d like to share with readers? How about a special way to prepare spinach? Share in the comments section.
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