So here we are in late November getting back in the swing of the season at Governors Estate in Eleuthera.
The vegetable garden is starting to thrive – plenty of salad greens and arugula at the moment. Tomato plants are getting lovely and bushy – can’t wait for the first crop of those delicious homegrown baby tomatoes to go with the basil which is coming on now. Tried some purple basil which looks good – but it will be interesting to see how it tastes….. Also coming through is my favorite herb – cilantro – or as we Brits call it – coriander. I love to make Thai style coconut curried rice with lots of chopped cilantro in it – yummy !
As we seem to be on a food theme – how unusual !! – I am going to write down my ‘sort of’ recipe for the meat free lasagna that I make for all our arriving renters.
When you have been traveling all day and you finally arrive here – particularly if it is your first visit – then the last thing you want to have to do is to start cooking or finding a restaurant in the dark – so I always provide a supper for that first night.
I batch cook these lasagnas so I can’t really give you quantities but you will get the idea I know !
So first finely chop plenty of onion and fry in olive oil – or canola oil – over a medium heat turning to low after a few minutes.
Crush some garlic cloves – or use the Garden Gourmet garlic paste which I buy when I am in the US – and add to the frying onions.
Add some Italian herbs and a small amount of chili – or again use the Garden Gourmet herb paste and chili paste – plus salt and pepper.
Separately cook some meatless meatballs – I buy mine from Burrows supermarket here on the island – and if they don’t have them then I use vegeburgers. Next when the meatballs have cooled blitz them in a food processor so they resemble minced meat .
Gradually add chopped tinned tomatoes – for a lasagna that would serve 6 people I would use at least 4 cans of tomatoes – I use a combination of tinned and bottled tomatoes that we have here in Eleuthera. You want the mixture to be pretty wet and sloppy as it needs to saturate the lasagna sheets – you do NOT have to pre cook them …..
I cook this mix slowly for about 45 minutes – make sure you taste it ! Anything with lots of tomatoes in it needs a reasonable amount of salt in it – but do not oversalt it. Better to have to add a little more when enjoying it …
I cook the lasagnas in pyrex dishes as these can go in a microwave as well as a conventional oven – but you can use what you like as long as it is deep enough to take a few layers.
Start with a ladleful of the tomato mixture on the bottom, then layer on the dried lasagna sheets to cover the width and length of the container. Next add the mozzarella cheese to cover the pasta sheets. You can use either the grated or the slices – I get whatever I can !!
Then follow it with another layer of sauce, pasta and cheese , then the final top layer is just sauce followed by the pasta. You then top this with either a white sauce or a cheese sauce and finally top it off with grated parmesan cheese.
For the sauce I heat some milk with a knob of butter in it then when it is simmering add some cornflour mixed with a little water to thicken it. Then add cheese if you like and allow to simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes.
When you have assembled the dish bake this in the oven for 1 hour at 350F or 175C.
You can these freeze this and then allow to thaw before just reheating it ……
So because there are a few steps to making this – cooking the tomato sauce, making the cheese sauce and then assembling the things – it makes sense to do a couple or more at the same time. Then you always have something tasty and homemade to pull out for supper on those nights you don’t want to cook anything!
Any questions ??