Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cauliflower Puree and Spinach Lasagna

A few weeks ago, I saw a recipe in Kitchen Daily for Cauliflower Puree and Spinach Lasagna.


In this recipe, the cauliflower puree proxies for a Béchamel Sauce and cooking the low fat, low carbohydrate, high fiber vegetable in milk and garlic intensifies its natural sweetness. The toasted pine nuts add not only an unexpected crunch but also a bit of elegance to this dish and, of course, spinach (with a sprinkle of nutmeg) is always a welcome and vitamin-packed addition to any dish! The mildness of the Monterey Jack cheese combined with the nuttiness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese intermingle nicely in this tasty and satisfying mid-winter treat.

It was my turn to cook….guess what I made.

The first thing you need to do is make the cauliflower puree and I made it and sautéed the spinach the night before.

Cauliflower Puree

3 heads (yes, three heads)of cauliflower, trimmed (about 6 pounds total)
4 garlic cloves, peeled (I always use more)
1 cup whole milk
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cut cauliflower into 1-inch chunks. Smash garlic cloves, then combine with cauliflower, milk, salt, and pepper in a large pot. Bring milk to a boil, covered, then boil, covered, until cauliflower is very tender, about 20 minutes. Puree cauliflower and cooking liquid in batches in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cauliflower Puree and Spinach Lasagna

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
½ teaspoon of nutmeg (my addition)
4 cups leftover cauliflower puree
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup of pine nuts, toasted
1 (9 ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles
8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat add the spinach, sprinkle with the nutmeg and saute, turning, until the spinach is wilted and all the liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Set the spinach aside.

Stir together cauliflower puree, milk, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and pine nuts. Spread about 1/2 cup puree over bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then place 1 layer of noodles over puree, leaving some space between noodles.

Repeat layering puree and noodles in same manner, finishing with a layer of puree.

Spread spinach evenly over the mixture.

Then sprinkle evenly with the cheeses.

Bake, uncovered at 350°, until lasagna is bubbling and browned on top, about 45 minutes. I calculate this to be about 329 calories per 4” square serving, low in fat and carbs and high in flavor and fiber.

For dessert, we devoured a Blueberry Crème Brule that deserves its own post!

We toasted Davy Jones…a bit of our adolescence died with him on Wednesday. I had posters of him and Bobby Sherman clipped form 16 and Tiger Beat magazine plastered all over (and I mean ALL OVER) my walls! My sister preferred Mickey Dolenz and my best friend Moe liked Mike Nesmith. Sorry Peter. Click here to enjoy a salute to the Monkees.

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