Saturday, April 23, 2011

Passover Veggie Lasagna

This layered dish is a bit of work, but so many of the steps may be done ahead. As Pesach drags along, and the appeal of potato kugel and borscht wears off, this is a nice change. The recipe for the crepes is versatile-you can use it for blintzes, or cut into slices as noodles for soup. Here, I've layered them to make a lasagna-type dish.

It may sound impossible, but passover cake meal (very finely ground matzo meal) works to make a roux for a sauce. It does tend to burn if you don't keep stirring, but you wouldn't be the sort of person that allows for distraction when cooking-would you? Of course not. Watch your sauce for the three minutes it takes.

I filled this with fresh green beans, carrots, sliced boiled potatoes, and spices. You could use anything of course. For the cheese, I sieved some cottage cheese and beat-in an egg. Ricotta would also work fine. Like most of what I post here, consider these ideas, rather than firm instructions, though the crepes will work better if you follow the recipe.

You Will Need:

For the crepes:

1 1/3 cups water
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
6 tablespoons potato starch

Add potato starch last, and beat until thick like cream. Let rest 20 minutes. The potato starch will tend to sink, so give it a quick stir before pouring each crepe.

Lightly (and I mean, really lightly) oil a skillet. Over medium heat, pour a ladle full of batter onto pan, and tilt to cover. Cook until dry on top, then flip and cook a minute longer on the other side. Remove to a plate, and continue-you probably won't need to re-grease the pan.

Don't be overly-concerned if the tear, as you'll be layering them in a dish with vegetables, cheese and sauce.

For the Cheese filling:

3 cups cottage cheese sieved. Beat in 1 large egg.

For the vegetables:

1 lb. green beans,French cut, and lightly steamed
3-4 medium carrots, cut in matchsticks
olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 tablespoon preserved lemon peel, chopped
4-5 small, new potatoes boiled just until tender, then sliced in rounds
1 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the carrots, garlic, and lemon peel until softened. Add everything else and gently toss. Reduce heat to low and cook gently for a few more minutes. This may be cooked ahead of time.

For the sauce:

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons passover cake meal

In a saucepan, over medium heat melt the butter until it sizzles. With a wooden spoon, beat-in the cake flour and cook until foamy. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly over medium heat until it thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cover if not using right away. If you are going to be longer than 1/2 hour, pour a bit of cream on top to prevent a skin forming.

Topping: About 1 cup grated cheese of your choice.

Put it together:

Use a deep pan, about 8x11-ish. Go ahead and grease it to make clean-up easier. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bottom of the pan, spread a bit of the sauce. Layer some of the crepes, then the vegetables, then cheese filling, repeat. The top layer should be noodles and a tiny remainder of sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Place the pan on a baking sheet in the event it bubbles over, and bake about 45 minutes, or until top is deeply golden and sauce is bubbling around edges. Let stand about five minutes before cutting.


Sinead said...

Mmmm this has made me hungry!

This version is the furtherest veggie I have gone:

Might try it with crepes.

Goody said...

I imagine you can make a noodle from just about any flour (rice, chickpea, etc.) I'm good at handling pancakes, so I find this sort of thing easier than rolling and cutting noodles. It is mostly egg though, proportionally.

Let me know if you try it.