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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Escarole, Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Lasagna

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Have you heard of the website Pinstrosity? It basically highlights instances where people attempt to recreate things they've seen on Pinterest--whether it be a recipe or a craft or a home decor tip--and end up with a major failure  something not at all like the picture. I can relate, as I've definitely had more than a few recipes I've made from magazines look disastrous when compared to the colorful photograph on the magazine pages. Either the bread doesn't rise nearly as high or the cake layers are uneven or the pizza crust is abstractly shaped.
As you can see in my Instagram picture above, this actually did come out like the photograph! This recipe is definitely not a thirty minute meal, nor is it a one-dish dinner. It took a few different pots and pans and multiple steps, but I took one evening to assemble it and then we baked it the next night--making it a thirty minute meal on night two!
Don't be fooled by the name lasagna in the title. This is not your traditional lasagna. Instead of red sauce, there are chopped tomatoes, a white bean puree replaces the ricotta, and greens and mushrooms stand in for the noodles. The ingredients are layered in a 9 x 13 pan with plenty of parmesan cheese and after a quick bake, you have dinner on the table. This dish is good with baked chicken on the side for something a bit heartier, or buttered rolls if you're aiming for something light. This is healthy comfort food at its finest!

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Escarole, Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Lasagna
from Martha Stewart Whole Living April 2012

-1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
-1 1/4 lbs cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (I used a mix of cremini and white)
-7 cloves garlic
-coarse salt
-1 large bunch of kale (about 1 1/2 lbs), stems and center ribs discarded, roughly chopped
-1 large head escarole (1-1 1/2 lbs), trimmed and roughly chopped
-2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, 1/4 cup bean liquid reserved and beans drained
-1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (I used dried)
-1 can (28 oz) whole plum tomatoes, drained
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-6 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (2 3/4 cup)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tsp oil and half of the mushrooms. Saute, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown and tender (about 8 minutes). Remove from skillet and repeat with another tsp of oil and the remaining mushrooms. Set all mushrooms aside to cool.
2. Chop 6 garlic cloves. Heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic with 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 1 minute (do not let brown). Raise heat to medium-high and add 1/2 cup water. Add 2/3 of the kale. Cover and cook until wilted. Add remaining kale and cook until wilted.
3. Stir in escarole, adding a bit more water if the pan in dry. Cover and cook until greens are wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid evaporates (you really want liquid evaporated or your lasagna will be liquidy).
4. Preheat oven to 375F, if cooking immediately. Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch ovenproof baking dish with cooking spray. Place beans in a food processor and grate remaining garlic clove over beans. Puree for one minute. Add reserved bean liquid and oregano and puree until smooth.
5. Coarsely chop tomatoes, reserving juices. Combine tomatoes and juices with red pepper flakes. Spread one third of the tomatoes in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with half of the greens. Spread half of the bean mixture over the greens, using a small spatula to try and spread (it will be hard to spread--don't worry if it's in clumps). Sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Top with three quarters of the mushrooms.
6. Continue layering with a third of the tomatoes, the remaining greens, and a third of the cheese. Dot with spoonfuls of remaining bean mixture, using the back of a spoon to flatten. Layer with remaining mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheese. Cover with foil (don't let foil touch the surface) and bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbling around the edges but not the center. (Can also be refrigerated overnight and then baked).
7. Remove foil and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the top turns golden brown. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.