Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shiitake Mushroom, Butternut Squash & Leek Lasagna

I love lasagna.  One of my absolute favorite foods.  Growing up my mom made a helluva lasagna.  It was one of those meals that I always looked forward to mom making.

Such a versatile course.  Countless fillings and ingredients to use.  Here, I went completely meatless.  My wife is now a proud vegetarian, so I've had to expand my repertorie when it comes to different veggie combinations.

Butternut Squash flesh is creamy and sweet.  A joy to cook with.  It's peak season runs from early fall through the balance of winter, so I wanted to squeeze it in one last time.  Pinch of cinnamon really takes this to another level.

Shiitake Mushrooms are a delicacy the world over.  I found some lovely fresh shiitake mushroom at my local organic market.  They provide the lasagna with a meaty mouthfeel, sure to satisfy the carnivore in your family opposed to anything vegeterian.

Leeks are a staple of LC cuisine.  Love them.  Indispensable in my opinion. Cut into about 1/4 inch rings they add a sweet onion punch.

Cauliflower puree with milk, onion, butter, and grated nutmeg is the sauce for the lasagna.

Organic Gouda  and Organic Gruyere were the cheeses used.

Panko Breadcrumbs, fresh minced chervil, and fresh minced marjoram provide the icing on the cake.  Or the topping of the lasagna.

Due to my abject laziness, I did not make my own pasta.  Barilla Oven Ready Lasagna is a readily available product that will cut two steps in the kitchen for you, making and boiling the pasta.


Shiitake Mushroom, Butternut Squash & Leek Lasagna

For the Butternut Squash:
1 large butternut squash
cane sugar
ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Cut the squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds.  Season with cane sugar and cinnamon.  Lay down on a baking sheet cut side down.  Cook for 1 hour.  Allow to cool.

Scoop out the flesh into a food processor.  Add just enough half-and-half.  You want a nice puree consistency.  Season with a pinch of cane sugar and ground cinnamon.  Process until smooth.

For the Cauliflower Puree:
Safflower oil
1 head of cauliflower
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 white onion - small chop
2 garlic cloves - minced
grated nutmeg
sea salt
white pepper
whole milk

In a stockpot, heat the safflower oil over medium-high heat.  Add the butter, once the butter foams, add the onion.  Add the cauliflower and garlic to the pot.  Cook for 7 minutes.  Pour enough milk to cover the cauliflower.  Grate nutmeg to taste.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the cauliflower is soft.  Using an immersion blender puree until smooth.

For the Shiitake Mushrooms & Leeks:
Safflower oil
Fresh shiitake mushrooms - sliced
3 Leeks - white and light green parts only - cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 shallot - minced
sea salt
black pepper

In a saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the shallots, mushrooms and leeks until nicely browned. Season with salt and pepper.  Do not overcook.

Fresh herbs minced

Panko Breadcrumbs
Gouda - shredded
Gruyere - grated

Lasagna Layers- pasta, butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, gruyere, rosemary.

Once the layers are built cover with cauliflower puree, shredded gouda, panko breadcrumbs, chervil and marjoram.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cover lasagna dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil.  Cook for a further 10 minutes to finish to top.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. the cinnamon in your butternut squash reminds me of moussaka. i love the rich and creamy (as i told you, my weakness) combination of your lasagna. the cauliflower puree as your bechamel, leeks compliments and balances the richness, and adds some crunch factor. I love when you added Panko crumbs for added texture.. Lazy Laz? i beg to disagree.. define lazy - that's me haha...Youve done an amazing job!

  2. This is so creative, and the flavors sound amazing. I would just like to grab that piece right off the screen. I think I could easily go vegetarian eating like this all the time!

  3. The cauliflower purée in place of béchamel is genius.

  4. Wow. This sounds just out of this world. I will be making this within the next week. Thank you for sharing! :)

  5. When I see Lasagna, I think ....... Garfield! Hahaha! No offence, just that the fat cat is one of my fave characters :)

    My teenage son loves Lasagna & but I'm a bad mummy. I've not made any for him before, it's always eating out. Thks for the recipe! I'll kiv this. Have a great week, Lazaro!

  6. Good for you, Lazaro, for exploring vegetarian foods, especially this wonderful veggie lasagna! I'm always looking for hearty vegetarian recipes to make for Peter, and I think this one fits the bill! Great use of butternut squash, and I can't say no to the Gouda and Gruyere. Recipe saved ... now :)

  7. I will have to try this Laz, we eat lots of veggies now, and I have dabbled in only one lasagna this past year...need more, I love pasta!

  8. wow. amazing. I love the descriptions of each ingredients and they mesh together in this lasagna better than i would imagine!!

  9. I bet your lasagna is delicious - what a fabulous flavor combination:) I need to add more meatless recipes to my repertoire - thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

  10. sounds like a heavenly good one! Love the vegetables and I can just imagine what they would taste like encased in fresh lasagne pasta! a dream

  11. Shiitakes are the best mushrooms and the only ones that I can eat without them being hidden, so obviously I'd enjoy this. :)

    Also, clearly nothing's changed in the past few months - you're still coming up with incredibly creative, delicious combinations that I'd never think of in a million years. I highly approve!

  12. Lazaro, I absolutely love this dish. Butternut squash soup is one of my favorites so I know I will most definitely devour this. I also love that this is a meatless lasagna. I hardly ever use leeks in my cooking so this would be a great recipe to try. One of the most unique, but amazing lasagnas I've seen. Two thumbs up! Oh, and even great talents like you need a break in the kitchen sometimes. I'm all for cutting steps and being lazy when you can be :-).

  13. that cauliflower puree sound divine!

  14. I am always trying to think of unusual ways to make lasagna.. often to use what I have hanging around. All of the things you added were inspired... especially that gouda with the squash. I salute you and look forward to try it on my next lasagna.''

    ps... got no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles that were the worst ever. brown GLUE!!! I think I'll stick with quick homemade!

  15. I love a good lasagna, but hardly ever stray from the classic version. Your vegetarian version sounds so unique and flavorful that I think I wouldn't miss the meat. :o)

  16. I'm glad to see you're still cooking up a feast Lazaro!!

    This looks delish :)

    Btw I'm back :D


  17. This is so amazingly wonderful...a perfect lasagna! And mind you, I am picky about my lasagna. Perfect and beautiful flavors, the herbs and cheese choices alone are my idea of heaven :)

  18. Lazaro, Im not usually a fan of the Vego option, but dang, go your wife for successfully making the switch, I tried for about a day, found that a nice piece of beef is my weakness.... LOL, however this little vego lasagne is perfect, digging the cauliflower filling rather than béchamel.
    Did you find the Shitake overpowering?

    Butternut squash is a delight, sweet and hearty too. Love it! Im going to try this little beauty, but might add some pork mince to it. :) I know... I just cant help myself. Great recipe. :)

  19. I like that you use butternut squash! Although I don't cook butternut squash as often as I would like too, I'm happy eating every time. This veggie lasagna def' got my attention.

    PS: Sorry to hear about your twitter account...:(

  20. Lazaro, if I chopped the leeks up very finely, I could totally get away with serving this to my children! I looooooooove butternut squash and try to use it as much as possible, though it's not available here anymore. I am already ready for the fall/winter. This looks so amazing! What a beautiful display of winter veg....I am starving..why the hell did I read this first thing in the morning? Mmm

  21. denise @ bread expectationsMarch 21, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    I do love pasta but it's hard to find one both hubby and I can agree on. This one would make us both happy - mushrooms and leeks for me, butternut squash and cauliflower for him and cheese for us both! Fantastic flavours and really, the prettiest looking lasagna I've seen so far!

  22. i add cinnamon and nutmeg to my butternut squash. one of my all time fave fall vegetables. and in lasagna? genio! me'canta... i can imagine how light it is, which is what I'd aim for! fabuloso, mijo!


Have Your Say!