Sometimes you just can’t find EXACTLY what you’re looking for. Some recipes might tantalize, or bring you within reach of what you want most, but they all fall short. Or, you have something so specific in mind that searching for recipes is quite futile. In these cases, invent! Draw inspiration from other recipes and cook up just the thing you want.
For this week’s vegetable lasagne, I had specific parameters:
- I had summer squash, spinach, broccoli/cauliflower, frozen corn, carrots, and eggplant from the garden.
- Rebecca doesn’t like ricotta cheese (Italian-American lasagne), so I needed to go traditional-Italian and make a bechamel.
- I have a tendency to overload veggie lasagne.
So I found three recipes and borrowed something from each. First, from Weeknights With Giada, her Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagne. In this recipe, she puts corn, cream, mascarpone, parmesan/romano, and basil in a blender and pulses it to fill her lasagne. I thought this was ingenious and sounded delicious. Leaving out the mascarpone wasn’t a problem, and I substituted Thai basil for genovese basil. I love Thai basil, and I have a lot of it right now in the garden. So, that sweet and creamy corn mixture took the place of ricotta on one layer of the lasagne. Done.
Next, I went to Smitten Kitchen to look at Deb’s mushroom lasagne. Apart from making my mouth water, I noticed that she used a garlic-infused bechamel sauce instead of ricotta. Brilliant! Traditional! I did the same, halving her proportions, and it made the perfect amount for the other two layers. Looking at that recipe did make me wish I had gotten some mushrooms though, but no matter… don’t overdo it.
Last, I peeked briefly at Saveur’s vegetarian lasagne recipe, which includes budget-busters like 2.5 cups each of grana padano and fontina cheese… and looks incredibly delicious. I didn’t really borrow anything from this, but I just wanted to explore the possibilities. And dream.
It was veg-tastic.