I have got a Riverford Lunch this week, when I go to a customer’s house and cook lunch for their friends. This lunch is hopefully so impressive and delicious that these friends are completely won over by the virtues of Riverford and their wonderful tasting vegetables, that they are instantaneously compelled to become Riverford customers themselves. No pressure there then!
I always start with a large veg box and try and use up all the ingredients in one meal, in original, inspiring and interesting ways. As the menu evolves, I usually find that I am left with a few misfit ingredients, which need to be combined together and result in a delicious and harmonious recipe. And this is where, each week, the real challenge lies. This week I was left with leeks, butternut squash and peas! As excited as I was to see fresh peas again, it took me quite a while to get my head around how to incorporate them with the other vegetables without losing them all together. I am pretty pleased with my resulting Butternut Squash, Leek, Pea and Goat’s Cheese Lasanga. The lovely fresh peas add a touch of spring to an otherwise Autumnal dish and the goats cheese perfectly counterbalances the sweetness of the vegetables. Just hope my lunch customers are impressed!
Butternut Squash, Leek, Pea and Goat’s Cheese Lasanga
I butternut squash
bag of Riverford peas
3 small leeks
1 pint Milk
100g Parmesan, freshly grated
200g Hard goat’s cheese, such as St Helen’s Farm, cut into small cubes
A box of lasagne sheets
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Peel and cut your butternut squash into bitesized chunks. Season with salt and pepper and toss in olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelise.
Check from time to time and move around to ensure even cooking. Meanwhile shred your leeks and wash well. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan add the butter and the leeks and sweat down until really soft and beginning to colour. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stir well and then return to the heat to cook out the flour for a few minutes. Slowly add the milk and whisk over a medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from the heat and add the grated parmesan. Season well to taste with salt and pepper. You don’t want your lasagne to dry so make sure the béchamel is creamy. Add more milk if necessary. Cook the peas for a few minutes in a pan of boiling salted water. Drain,
Take a large gratin put a very thin layer of béchamel on the bottom. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets. Break up the sheets if necessary. Top with the butternut squash and 1/3 of the remaining béchamel and 1/2 the goat’s cheese. Next do another layer of lasagne. Then top with the remaining butternut squash, the rest of the goat’s cheese and the next 1/3 of béchamel. Next the final layer of lasagne and finally the rest of the béchamel. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or so until golden brown on top and a blunt knife inserts easily all the way through.