For the first time, I have had success with spring broccoli in my garden. Planting broccoli and cauliflower is usually an exercise in frustration for me, big beautiful plants that produce no edible parts. I am attributing my success this year to our cool spring. But whatever the reason, I am very happy!
The first head I harvested produced almost exactly 2 cups of florets, just the right amount for the recipe for Mexicali Lasagna I found in The Best 125 Meatless Pasta Dishes by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay (another success from my searching through my friend’s cookbooks when they are not looking, ok, even when they are looking). I have adapted the recipe to my tastes and to my available ingredients. It was a big hit!
Mexican Broccoli-Corn Lasagna
2 cups V-8 Juice
1 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp dried oregano (from the garden)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup water
2 cups loosely packed broccoli florets (from the garden)
7 oz can diced green chiles
Olive oil spray
15 oz part-skim ricotta
8 oz jalapeno jack cheese, shredded
2 cups frozen corn (from Filasky’s)
2 Tbsp parnesan cheese, grated
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
About 30 minutes ahead of time, set out the frozen corn to thaw.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a medium saucepan, heat the V-8, milk oregano and garlic powder. When the mixture is steaming, stir the flour into the water until well incorporated. Whisk this roux into the sauce and simmer over low heat, whisking frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for 4 minutes, then rinse with cold water to cool. Drain and set aside.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil spray. Ladle in 1/2 cup of sauce and top with 3 noodles. Distribute 1/2 the chilies over the noodles. Use a soup spoon to dot the chilies with 1/2 the ricotta.
Evenly distribute the broccoli and 1/2 the jack cheese over the ricotta.
Ladle 3/4 cup sauce and distribute evenly. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, pressing down slightly.Distribute the corn, remaining chilies, ricotta and jack cheese evenly over the noodles.
Spread 3/4 cup of sauce over the cheese and top with the last layer of noodles. Distribute the remaining sauce over the noodles and top with parmesan.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Uncover and bake for 10 minutes.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serves 6 to 8.