Squash and Fennel Lasagne

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Having never been a fan of fennel or anything strongly aniseed flavoured – I was intrigued to try this recipe given that it included so many things that I did love – squash, creamy white sauce and lasagne. The fennel flavour was still very present but cooking it slowly made it much sweeter and less overpowering as it often can be. Whilst I still don’t enjoy fennel in salads or any other form I’ve tried it, in this recipe it does work well with the sweetness of the squash.

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Adapted and veganized from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day!

Ingredients: Serves 6

  • 1kg squash
  • 6 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed (or 2 if they are smaller)
  • a few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 750g fennel (3 large bulbs)
  • 150g almond feta, or vegan cheese of choice (optional)
  • 1 box dried lasagne sheets (you will have leftovers but number of sheets depends on the baking dish you use)
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the bechamel sauce:

  • 1 litre soya milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • a few black peppercorns
  • 50g vegan butter or margarine
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • A few gratings of a fresh nutmeg or a pinch of dried

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’c/350’f.
  2. Start by preparing the first stage of the bechamel sauce. Heat the soya milk with the bay leaf, onion, celery & peppercorns until just before it starts to simmer. Turn the heat off and set aside to infuse.
  3. Peel & deseed the squash and cut into 2 cm cubes. Place in a large baking tray with 4 tbsp of the oil. Season well, toss together and bake for 30 mins until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and stir through the garlic and thyme, set aside.
  4. Remove any tough outer sections from the fennel and chop into 5mm slices. Saute in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil on a low-medium heat for 20 mins until soft. Set aside.
  5. Reheat the infused milk, then strain.
  6. In a large saucepan melt the margarine, then add the flour. Stir constantly for a couple of minutes until a smooth roux has formed. Remove from the the heat.
  7. Add ¼ of the milk to the roux and beat until smooth with a whisk. Return to a low heat and gradually whisk in the remaining milk in batches ensuring it is fully incorporated and smooth. Stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Turn off the heat, add the mustard, nutmeg and seasoning to taste.
  8. In a large baking dish (roughly 28 x 22cm), put 1/3 of the bechamel sauce, followed by lasagne sheets to cover (ensure they don’t overlap). Cover with the squash then add another 1/3 of the sauce, another layer of lasagne, then the fennel. Sprinkle the almond feta over the top (if using), and then pour the remaining bechamel over the top.
  9. Bake for 30mins until golden brown and the pasta cooked through when a knife inserted. Serve immediately with peas or a green salad.
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This entry was posted in Egg-free, Mains, Pasta, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Squash and Fennel Lasagne

  1. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Adore fennel. Great little recipe.

  2. sophiazerg says:

    I gotta agree about the fennel – I won’t say I DON’T like it, because I love everything that comes from the ground, but not my favourite. This looks very appetizing though, cooked slowly. My husband loves fennel so I think I’ll give it a try!

  3. You must of been ecstatic on how well this turned out! How perfect it browned and I think the recipe sounds fantastic! And I love how you veganized it! 😉 Beautiful photographs!

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you so much! Considering I was apprehensive of the fennel, I was pretty over the moon when I actually loved how it tasted! It was a big risk as I’d never enjoyed fennel before and my partner HATES it! But we both ate this and the leftovers the following days! 🙂

  4. myninjanaan says:

    You always post the most interesting vegan recipes! I love that you are able to veganize otherwise nonvegan recipes! It keeps things interesting 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Aw thank you for such a lovely comment – I’m glad you are enjoying the recipes! I think it’s important to mix it up bit, especially as vegan to keep food interesting and to get a variety of nutrition. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a food rut!

  5. this looks amazing! going to make this on the weekend! thanks for sharing!

  6. You keep slamming it out of the park with these dishes. If you keep this up I am going to have to move in with you. It is the only way I can get access to all this deliciousness….LOL

  7. issa9160 says:

    I’m not a fan of fennel either, but the squash component intrigues me as well. Maybe I’ll give this a shot. Thanks for posting! Also, where do you get your “Nutrition Facts” section? I like it!

  8. This looks AMAZING. I love fennel and nestled in a creamy béchamel only makes it more inviting. Well done!

  9. pjsassifras says:

    Not a vegan, but try to eat meatless a couple times a week. This sounds yum-my. It’s 90 degrees where I live now, though, so this will have to wait until it cools down a bit.

    • Poppy says:

      Lucky you, 90 degrees, I’m surrounded by rain showers! This is a great meatless meal for you as it’s so rich, tasty and hearty, you won’t miss the meat! 🙂

  10. Yum! This sounds so good!

  11. I’ve never been a fan of dried fennel but for some reason really like the fresh stuff. This looks so creamy and yummy.

  12. Sophie33 says:

    I made your tasty veggie lasagna yesterday & with that almond feta it was the best! My husband & I both adored it! it was divine, Poppy!!! Xxxx

  13. Anna Beasley says:

    Obsessed with fennel at the moment, delicious! This looks perfect for the wintry weather we have here in NZ

  14. You are creatively delicious!!

  15. Pingback: Meal Plan Monday with Poppy’s Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen | My Plant-Based Family

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