A leek cauliflower and kale lasagne is a great tasting vegetarian lasagne and perfect for the winter months when these vegetables are in season. This recipe uses a white cheese sauce which goes very well with the vegetables (think cauliflower cheese). The leek and kale add some nice colour and nutrition and work really well in a lasagne. Kale is sometimes referred to as a superfood as it is rich in vitamins, minerals and iron.
You will need a square or rectangular oven proof dish. I use a lasagne dish that is 26cm x 18cm (internal measurement) as I can fit 3 lasagna sheets across without having to break them. This is big enough for 4 people. You can of course use dishes that are other sizes. You should try not to have lasagne sheets overlapping as they won't cook as well. If you do need to break them, score them with a sharp knife first. Don't worry if it looks a bit messy, once the sauce is poured over them, they won't be seen.
What do you put on the bottom layer of lasagne?
Basically, you don't want the lasagne to stick to the bottom of the dish. The easisest thing to do is to start off with a layer of sauce. In this case, spread some of the white sauce over the bottom of your lasagne dish.
How many layers is best for lasagne?
Different lasagnes will need a different number of layers of lasagne sheets. More lasagne sheets are not necessarily better as it can make the dish quite dense. It also very much depends on your filling. The filling in this Leek Cauliflower and Kale lasagne for example is more chunky than say my Spinach and Ricotta lasagne so we will probably use fewer lasagne sheet layers. You want to fill your dish to just below the top so the sauce doesn't bubble over. Always top off the lasagne with a final layer of sheets, then the sauce (not the filling) then the grated cheese. This will stop the filling from burning and give a nice crust on the top.
Should lasagne be covered in the oven?
A lasagne should cook in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes so you shouldn't need to cover it as the top will not burn in this time. If you are keeping a lasagne warm in the oven or are re-heating it, you might want to loosely cover it to prevent the top from browning any further.
Leeks, cauliflower and kale are all in season in autumn and winter and this is when they are at their best. As always, try to buy them from local sources and free from plastic packaging. This dish is also a good opportunity to use up any leftover bread and therefore reduce your food waste. Breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top makes a lovely crunchy crust. Don't forget, you can also store breadcrumbs in the freezer. Just pop in an airtight container and they will freeze well for at least 6 months.
This Leek Cauliflower and Kale Lasagne can be assembled ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 24 hours. Once cooked, it will keep in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. It can also be stored in the freezer for 2 - 3 months.
How to reheat cooked Lasagne
Ideally, you want to defrost your lasagne before reheating. If you're not able to do this, you can defrost it in the microwave on the defrost setting for about 5 minutes. Once defrosted, cover it with foil to stop the top from burning or browning further. Place it on an ovenproof dish and reheat in the oven at 190°C / 375°F/ gas mark 5 for 20 - 30 minutes. The lasagne should be piping hot before serving. To check this, place a fork in the middle of the lasagne for a few seconds. If the fork is hot, the lasagne is also hot in the middle. The middle will be the last bit to reheat.
Leek Cauliflower and Kale Vegetarian Lasagne
- 575 g cauliflower organic, ( 1 head = 575g) cut into bite sized florets
- 180 g kale organic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil organic, fairtrade
- 500 g leeks organic, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 cloves garlic organic, peeled and crushed
- 12 lasagne sheets organic, (uncooked)
White Cheese sauce
- 40 g butter organic
- 40 g plain flour organic
- 300 ml milk organic
- 300 ml vegetable stock organic
- ½ teaspoon English mustard
- 120 g mature cheddar cheese organic
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Put the cauliflower into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the kale and simmer for a further 1 minute. Remove from the heat and drain.
- In a separate pan, fry the leeks in the olive oil for around 5 minutes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the leek and garlic to the drained cauliflower and kale.
To make the White Cheese Sauce
- To make the white sauce, add the butter, flour, milk, hot vegetable stock and mustard to a pan, bring to a boil stirring all the time. Once it is bubbling, stir in half the cheese. Taste the sauce to see if you need more cheese as the amount depends very much on how mature the cheese is. Let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour one third of the sauce in with the vegetables and stir.
- Cover the bottom of the lasagne dish with half of the remaining sauce and assemble the lasagne as follows. Layer of lasagne sheets, layer of vegetables, layer of lasagne sheets, layer of vegetables, layer of lasagne sheets. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the top, spreading it out to the edges and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. add more cheese if necessary.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Use a fork to check that the lasagna sheets are soft and serve.
Nutrition per serving
The Nutritional Values are computer generated estimates based on industry standards and are provided as a helpful guide only.