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Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna with Béchamel sauce

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Eclecticisms: Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna with Béchamel sauce

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna with Béchamel sauce

It's 11:30 PM and I just got out of the kitchen, after starting at 4 PM! I have to catch up on several blogs that I haven't gotten to so I'm not letting myself go to sleep yet. Today I made a carrot cake, lemon bars (new recipe) and frosted butter cookies (2nd batch this week!) for Easter tomorrow- I'm hoping I don't overwhelm the guests at my Mom's with too many treats and that at least one of them is a hit!

This blog is isn't about Easter though, it's about the lasagna that Leslie and I made a few weekends ago and honestly, I think it just might be the best food item I've ever made. It's definitely going to make more appearance on  my table, even if it does take a bit of work! It's absolutely worth it, and you are reminded of that with each scrumptious bite.

Friends in the kitchen! There are few better ways to spend time.

We had decided to do a night of cooking, making dinner and a dessert. (Blueberry and Peach Pie blog coming soon!) Leslie had mentioned that she really wanted to make a lasagna, but hadn't because it's just so much food when you're done. I found the recipe we used while going through several on the internet. This isn't your traditional tomato sauce and cheese lasagna, but after reading what was in it, we both knew we had to have it. Now, artichokes really are one of my favorite vegetables. As a kid we sometimes got them as a treat, and although I'm sure as a kid it was the lemon butter on the side that really is what got me excited, as an adult, I find that few vegetables come close as far as taste goes. They are pretty easy to make too, and I wouldn't be surprised it another artichoke recipe is in my near future.

We took a LOT of pictures... I apologize ahead of time if I go a little over board.

This recipe is off the epicurious webite and can be found here. It would be a great dish to serve guests, and you can prepare it up to 1 day ahead of time! (Just cover and refrigerate.)


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry vermouth

Béchamel sauce

4 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 7 1/2 ounces)
Ground nutmeg
1 9-ounce package oven-ready (no-boil) lasagna noodles
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Melt the butter in large skillet. (Lelslie's blog says that we used extra virgin olive oil, but I'm pretty sure we used butter. Regardless, either will work fine!) Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté until mushrooms begin to brown, approximately 7 minutes.

Add artichokes and vermouth. We used canned artichokes for this recipe. It calls for frozen, but Trader Joe's was out, the fruit market didn't have any and Jewel didn't either. I was really anxious not using frozen, but everything still turned out wonderful. (No thanks to Trader Joe's!) I'd like to try frozen next time, but the canned still tasted fantastic.

Leslie was afraid that the vermouth would be gross so we debated using wine instead. We each took a sip and it really didin't taste like much of anything, so we decided to go for it and trust the recipe.

*Lesson of the day. Vermouth is not gross!

Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Mmm... I'm really wanting some of this right now...

Time to begin the bechamel sauce!

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute.

 Gradually whisk in milk (we used soy).

 Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and lightly coats spoon, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Parmesan.

Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg. It was such a pretty sauce!

It's time to start assembling the lasagna. (Now is a good time to pre-heat your oven to 350.) Spread 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Top with enough noodles to cover bottom of dish. Spread 1/4 of artichoke mixture over. Spoon 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over.

Top béchamel with 1/4 of mozzarella. We realized that I had mistakenly bought some kind of rolled up mozzerella, but it ended up working out perfectly... no slicing necessary!

It was about this point that we both started to worry that we wouldn't have enough filling. Leslie suggested we only do 3 layers (the recipe calls for 4) and I brought out some frozen zucchini and eggplant. We only added little bit, as we didn't want to over power the mushroom and artichoke flavors.

Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan and top with enough noodles to cover. Repeat layering 3 more times, finishing with a layer of noodles, then remaining béchamel. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. favorite food group!

Looking at this picture, I have no idea how we would have fit a 4th layer!

Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil. After one hour has passed, turn the stove up to 450, remove the foil and bake about 10 minutes longer. The lasagna will be golden on top.

Enjoy! As you can see... we did the same. 


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At April 4, 2010 at 7:54 AM , Blogger Leslie said...

Haha - that's awesome that you caught my mistake. I'm just so used to using olive oil!

Reading this made me want to have a piece right now. So delicious!

At April 4, 2010 at 8:39 AM , Blogger BEadECLECTIC said...

I forgot to mention the part about the sauce not thickening until we added the cheese.

I want some of this so badly right now!

Happy Easter, Pookie!

At April 4, 2010 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Susan said...

That looks absolutely amazing and I am not even a fan of mushrooms. I bet substituting half the mushrooms for spinach would be fantastic with that sauce too. Well done!

At April 4, 2010 at 11:28 AM , Blogger Son of X said...

Well, not being a super-fan of mushrooms myself, I will say I was pleasantly surprised, and ate this on two different occasions. I knew it would be pretty good... but I find mushrooms can be sometimes overpowering in flavor. But this ended up being REALLY good. I would definitely eat it again.


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