Evil you thought I'd fail. Evil you thought I'd give up. But let me tell you: Basmatis don't give up. We are tough. And if our stomach revolts, we don't care. We follow the plan. We cook.
I admit that it was a great help that the stomach was seemingly fine Saturday evening. Yes, I could have made vegetable broth, but that thought crossed my mind only now. Too bad, actually.
Germany is all shaken by news about dioxin that was found in eggs. The scandal could be traced back to a company that produces animal feed and evidently there had been a mistake. Someone accidentally mixed fats designated for industrial puporses into animal feeds. Ooops. Well that brought up our decision from last year - or was it 2009? - to eat less meat. Difficult decision, it is. Seriously, I am not a vegetarian and my cooking self isn't, either. So after reading through tons of vegetarian recipes I settled on something remotely familiar where there just happens to be no meat: vegetable lasagna.
Good thing is: you can use all the vegetables you have at home, everything works. We used:
2 green bell pepper (for the color)
For the bechamel sauce, you need:
75 g butter
40 g flour
560 ml milk
Of course, you also need lasagna plates (or whatever they are called) and parmesan cheese. And salt, pepper and nutmeg. And wine, but not for the lasagna. That's for thecook.
Now go ahead and chop all the vegetables while you preheat the oven to 180.
This is a nice picture of leek, so I include it anyhow.
I thought it would be good to roast the pepper and the carrots a bit, as these usually do not become soft enough when used directly in the lasagna.
So I just let them simmer with the onion for a bit while I prepared all the rest.
In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
While the butter melts, use some more butter and grease your lasagna pan.
When the butter is done, sprinkle in the flour and whisk for a minute to avoid clots.
Then take the pot off the oven to slowly add the milk and don't forget to keep whisking. If you take a picture, you may interrupt the whisking for a few seconds. A few. If you are in the mood, you can spill lots of the milk onto your kitchen rug. Which needed to be washed anyhow.
Put the sauce back onto the oven and let it boil for about one minute until it thickens. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I have to admit, that I had been a bit respectful regarding homemade bechamel sauce, because I had that picture in mind that it is really difficult to make with burning the milk and stuff. Turns out: easy peasy. No trick at all. When the sauce is done, put a layer of vegetables in the greased pan.
Cover with bechamel sauce.
Cover with a single layer of pasta. Or several layers, but then I'dd smear sauce in between.
Cover the pasta with vegetables.
Then add some sauce and so on and so on until all the vegetables or the sauce have been used. Make sure to end with a layer of sauce!
Grate some parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top.
Bake the lasagna for about 35 - 40 minutes.
Don't mind the black edges and enjoy. That is a really yummy dish, even without meat. Surprised we were. And even if we used the amount of bechamel sauce that was given for a dish for 8, I think it was just the right amount. So did the geek.
And if you are not suffering from some stomach upsetting adventure, have some chilled white wine with it. Or red wine. And: a salad.