Vegetarianized Recipe: Rosemary-Roasted Fall Veggies, Gruyere and Sage Bechamel Lasagna

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If that name doesn’t get you drooling, I think your belly may be broken. This is a ridiculously delicious, warm and cheesy in-season main dish that would be great for any chilly weeknight meal and also would make an exceptional vegetarian main for the holidays. Sage-infused, creamy béchamel hug layers of lasagna noodles, sauteed spinach, onions and garlic, and rosemary-roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms. A combination of tangy Gruyere and sharp parmesan complements the vegetables throughout the layers and forms an amazingly gooey and crunchy crust on top. And it’s surprisingly not too high in calories and fat—I’m in heaven!

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Adapted from Cooking Light, November 2003
Servings: 8
Time: 60 minutes active; 90 minutes total

10 ounces lasagna noodles

For the béchamel:
2/3 cup white flour
6 cups soy milk
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 bay leaf

For the filling:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, quartered
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
8-10″ fresh rosemary sprig, leaves chopped
2 1/2 cups onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
10 ounces frozen spinach, chopped
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove. Cook lasagna noodles al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and to keep from sticking, put strainer of noodles in a bowl of cold water. Drain noodles right before assembling the lasagna.

3. Meanwhile put 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms and sweet potatoes in a large casserole dish. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and rosemary and toss. Put in oven for 25 minutes, tossing half way through cooking. Remove from oven and set aside when done. Leave oven on.

4. For the béchamel, put flour in a large pot. Turn heat on medium and slowly pour the soy milk over the flour, constantly whisking to avoid lumps. Add onions, sage, garlic, salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute and then remove from heat. Set aside. Right before assembling the lasagna, strain béchamel through a strainer or sieve over a bowl pressing against solids to get all the sauce through. Discard solids.

5. For the filling, heat 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt and spinach. Saute 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

6. Combine cheeses and set aside.

7. To assemble, spread 3/4 cup béchamel in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Layer 3 noodles on top. Top with 1/2 of the mushroom mixture, 1 1/2 cup béchamel, and 1/3 cup cheeses.

8. Top with 3 more noodles, spinach mixture, 1 1/2 cups béchamel, and 1/3 cup cheeses.

9. Top with 3 more noodles, remaining mushroom mixture, and 1 1/2 cups béchamel.

10. Top with last 3 noodles and spread remaining béchamel on top.

11. Bake for 20 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheeses and cook 10 minutes more. This is likely to boil over the sides so lay a piece of foil or put a pan in the bottom of the oven. Let stand 10 minutes after removing from oven and serve hot.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.