Salmon and Fennel Lasagna

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So life has been keeping me busy! First you are still enjoying a IjustgotbackfromSpainhowgreatwasthat-feeling, then you’re home working full days and really not having the time to write on your food blog. I did cook ofcourse, and there were some highs as well. Top of the list was my Indonesian night, from Rendang to nasi goreng to sajoer beans and sambal eggs. I have never been to Indonesia but I felt it was a pretty good effort. The table looked pretty good too. I remember thinking ‘maybe I should take a photo and put this on my blog’. By then I was already halfway through my plate. And just kept on eating:).

Working every day can be a pretty tiring thing to do as well, so my meals this last few weeks became smarter and I cooked in bigger portions. I have an insanely larger freezer now (I didn’t have one before), so I am making good use of it. I am in love with onepot dishes right now that can be frozen. Perfect!

Easy, fast dinners can still be delicious and a bit culinary as well! I am also thinking of ways to eat more (healthy) fish. And my boyfriend absolutely loves salmon. Now I haven’t cooked a lot of salmon before. This all led me to this lasagna. Funny thing is my boyfriend didn’t even get to eat it! I ended up cooking it for my mum, and the leftovers which went into the freezer I ate myself, hehe.

Because taking your time grocery shopping isn’t always on my favorite to do list I opted for a big shopping spree on Sunday so we’re good to go for the week. That’s why I worked with frozen salmon and frozen spinach. If you do have time to hit the market, go for it! Nothing beats fresh produce.

Ingredients

  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 fresh chilipepper, or some dried chillie flakes
  • Spinach, either fresh or from the freezer.
  • pepper, salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh fennel seeds
  • 1 big glass of vegetable broth/stock
  • Fresh or frozen salmon
  • 1 fennel
  • optional: green lasagna sheets

Instructions:

1. Cut up the celery, carrot and onion. Take the spinach out of the freezer.

2. Heat up some olive oil in a crockpot or pan. Add cellery, carrot and onion. Give it a stir.

IMG_1080 3. Finely dice the chili and add to the pan. You can be as generous as like with the chili. For me, half a chili was just fine.IMG_1083

4. Finely chop the garlic or squeeze it and add to the pan. Keep stirring, we do not want the garlic to burn.

5. Add the spinach. Sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of fennel seeds. If you have a mortar you can roughly grind them before adding them to the pan. This will release more flavour.

6. Pour your broth over the veggies and put a lid on the pan. If I would have had white wine in the house, I would have definitely added a glass of that as well. The extra benefit being that that bottle needed drinking after that.

7. Thinly slice your fennel and cut up your salmon. If the salmon is still a little frozen, that’s ok.

8. Start building your lasagna! Start with a layer of fennel, then some salmon pieces. Pour over some of your veggiemix. Then repeat the layers again. I had some green lasagna sheets left so I used them as well for an extra layer, but those are optional. You can just use the fennel instead of the lasagna sheets.  Now you have your lasagna! You could just pop it in the oven, or sprinkle over some cheese. Or… you can make your own bechamelsauce like I did! This takes a little more effort but is not overly complicated. It is the perfect finish for any lasagna.

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My mum taught me how to make this bechamel, now let me share her instructions with you:

Bechamelsauce

Ingredients:

  • 50 grams of flour
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 400 – 500 ml of milk
  • fresh pepper
  • fresh dill (or parsley), chopped
  • grated cheese of your choice.

The most important thing is you use equal amounts of butter and flour and keep stirring continuously. You need a warm pan but not keep it on a low heat. Melt the butter in a small pan, then slowly stir in the flour. The butter must absorb all the flour until you have some sort of paste. Then slowly add the milk. How warmer the milk, the better it will go. It varies how much milk you need, but you need enough to make a sauce from the flour/butter mixture. Keep stirring, keep adding milk, until it has the consistency of a sauce. Stir in pepper and fresh herbs. I used a handful of fresh dill, which suits the salmon well. Then I mixed in some cheese, a small handful. Keep stirring while the cheese melts. The sauce might thicken because you added the cheese. You can always add a little bit more milk.

I don’t know if it sounds challenging, but why not give it a go. I tried it this week with blue cheese. Yes, that’s what I am talking about! Cover your food with a creamy blue cheese sauce, what is not to like?!

Whatever you do, enjoy cooking and eating this lasagna, and If you have any feedback, I would love to hear it!

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