Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Warning: Extremely Delicious Vegetable Lasagne

Ha, you weren't expecting this. You thought this crazy guy would give you another one from his loose bottomed tart tin. Nope! Instead I give you something from the bottom of my heart and i hope you will love it too. Today I have a vegetable lasagne for you. 
Simple? Yes, but be warned, in my opinion this vegetable lasagne tastes extremely delicious. Of course, I have to say this, but there is only one way to prove me wrong. You would have to try it for yourself. Besides that, you will also find some ... eh ... what to call them ... eh ... let's try ... twists and an unexpected ingredient.
Less talking more cooking ...

6 lasagne sheets
1 medium aubergine
2 small courgettes
A few splashes of olive oil
1 large tomato
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp. tomato puree
100 ml water
50 ml red wine vinegar
A few basil leaves
Salt and pepper
200 ml crème fraîche
1 egg
A hand full of grated parmesan
3 tbsp. grated radish

The times I made a vegetable lasagne before, was to cook all the vegetables into a kind of sauce. However, we are not doing this today. We like to preserve the pure individual tastes of the single vegetables ... at least most of them. I was inspired to do it in a different way by watching an episode of MasterChef Australia.
Therefore we cut the aubergine and the courgettes in a way they fit to the lasagne sheets, that is they are going to be cut into fine slices. Then get a baking tray ready with some grease proof paper and heat up your oven to 180 ºC.
Be generous with salt to the sliced vegetables. Off into the oven they go for about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure, they don't get burned.
Meanwhile get your tomato sauce ready. Get a pan ready on heat. Be generous again. This time with olive oil in the pan. The ancient principle 'those who give bountifully, will receive bountifully' still applies.
Cut the tomato in small chunks and throw them into the hot oil to let them sizzle away. Finely chop your clove of garlic and toss it into the oil as well. When you start to smell the beautiful odour of the garlic on your kitchen add the tomato puree, the water and the red wine vinegar. Go through the sauce with a spoon and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. On a low heat reduce the sauce for a while. When the sauce is thick enough and you are almost finished use the basil leaves to finish off the sauce.
Before we can start putting the lasagne together we have two more jobs to do. The fist one is to pre-cook the lasagne sheets in boiling salted water for about three minutes. The second job is to prepare some kind of white sauce to put between the layers.
For this white sauce we simply ... yes, very simply ... spoon together, the crème fraîche, the egg, the parmesan and the grated radish. Well, I suppose you could use horseradish, too. 
Anyway, I used to have radish when I was way younger and then ... didn't have it for a long time. Due to the fact, that radish is in season right now, I thought I give it a go again. For sure I had something in mind for it, but I just ended up eating most of it raw. So far I never had used radish in cooking. Bravely I decided to grate some of it into my white sauce for my vegetable lasagne. Well, it worked ... well.
After this brief detour into my use of radish we get back to our lasagne. We are almost there.
Now get yourself a 20 cm x 20 cm oven-proof dish. Remember that the oven is still at 180 ºC. We start the lasagne with a splash of olive oil that you rub onto the bottom of your dish. Then a few slices of aubergine follow, two sheets of lasagne, white sauce, courgette, white sauce, lasagne sheet, aubergine courgette, white sauce, lasagne sheets and white sauce.
Well it all depends on the amount of sliced vegetables you have. Feel free to change things a tiny little bit. Just make sure, you have three layers of lasgane sheets.
Before the vegetable lasagne goes into the oven, grate some extra parmesan on top and while you are at it allow some olive oil to be drizzled on it, too.
The lasagne should go into the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It may look like this afterwards ...

You see, there is a bit of colour on it. If you want more, you have to give more. This vegetable lasagne will make for four humble portions, but be warned ... I said it before ... it tastes extremely delicious. So you might want to plan ahead for this.
Whatsoever. serve the lasagne with a few spoons of the tomato sauce on top.

You know, if you add more sauce there is more of it to enjoy and it will all drip onto your plate and you might want to do something with the plate later.
In my opinion, this vegetable lasagne was the best I had so far. You can still taste the aubergine and the courgette individual and you have a gorgeous tomato sauce, too.

I can only recommend to try it for yourself. I might be wrong here, but ... you'll never know if you don't go for it.

Speaking of going for it, this post will go to some blog challenges in no particular order ...

Elizabeth's No Waste Food challenge hosted by Ness at Jibber Jabber UK this month. Fine, I would never have thrown the remaining radish away, but here I used the left over radish in a delicious way.

Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays. Check it out for yourself!


Helen's and Michelle's Extra Veg Blog Challenge. If I haven't used some extra veg here, I don't know and then again, I used the radish as I have never used it before.

Extra Veg Badge-003

Camilla's Credit Crunch Munch. Having a vegetarian meal with vegetables either on offer or in season or both will help you to save some money.

Credit Crunch Munch

Manjiri's and Jacqueline's Pasta Please challenge. The theme for April is Olive Oil. No, I wasn't especially generous with it because of this challenge. I just wanted to and found it necessary for the sauce to work properly.

pasta please

The Four Seasons Food April Challenge from Delicieux and Eat Your Veg. The goal was to celebrate vegetables. In my opinion ... again ... this is what this very vegetable lasagne is doing.

Then we have the Simple and in Season challenge from Ren. Do I have to say it again that radish is in season?

Simple and in Season NOW OPEN

Just because I can, I add this post to Recipe of the Week from Emily, too.

Link up your recipe of the week

Last but not least we have Karen's Cooking with Herbs challenge. Guess why?

Cooking with Herbs Challenge for April

Saturday, 12 April 2014

More from the Tart Tin - Quiche Lorraine

Fine, I have a few more things lined up coming from my loose bottom tart tin, simply can't help it. Now it doesn't always have to be sweet, although at first glance that might be fine with me, but I know better that it's far too dangerous to have to much of sweets. Since I don't always get the chance to share finished products, I have to balance the cake and sweets department better with the savoury department.
For that cause I have some Quiche Lorraine for you today, even more balanced with a salad on the side.

Still we get the chance to use the loose bottom tart tin. Oh, I can't exactly remember what the salad was all about, but I have the details of the Quiche Lorraine for you.

For the pastry:
250 g flour
1 egg
A pinch of salt
4 tbsp. water
125 g butter
For the filling:
125 g bacon, cut into small pieces
200 g crème fraîche
4 eggs
2 leeks, cut into rings
Salt and pepper
150 g grated cheese

Carefully put together the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour ... or the other way around ... so you get a mixture resembling bread crumbs. Don't forget the salt. Then add the egg and the water to bring the dough together. Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the filling or topping or whatever else you like to call it, first briefly fry your bacon in a pan. Transfer it to a bowl and mix it with the remaining ingredients for the filling. There is no other magic to i. Just do it and thoroughly mix it all together.

Get your oven ready to 180 ºC and butter your tart tin. Oh, right get the dough into the tin and then blind bake it for 15 minutes. I always use some chickpeas for that. Their fate is to remain reserved for blind baking, never to be eaten.
Remove your blind pastry ... eh ... blind baked pastry and top it with the filling or ... fill t with the topping and get it back into the oven for let's say 20-25 minutes or until the quiche lorraine has taken a lovely colour.

Then, I reckon, the only thing left to do is to have your meal. As I suggested before, together with a nice salad and, if you are  in the mood for it, with a glass of wine. For that, of course you have to be a person appreciating wine. Otherwise you might want to take a beer.

It's always something lovely to have a quiche lorraine from time to time. Now they also work better for me and I can enjoy them even more. Before I didn't use to add leeks, but I think they are a good addition.

Still I have more to come from my loose bottom tart tin. Anyway, what would you bake with it?