New recipe: Hot smoked salmon and spinach lasagne
One of the recipes I make most often
As I’m still on my Scottish road trip I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes which coincidentally involves smoked salmon of which there’s obviously an abundance up here.
I say my recipe but it wasn’t mine to start with. It came from a book called Chefs at Home and belonged to chef Tom Kitchin’s Swedish-born wife Michaela but I’ve changed it a fair bit over the couple of years I’ve been making it. (It involves less butter and cheese than the original, in case you’re wondering, and I’ve made use of the hot smoked salmon flakes you can now buy easily in most supermarkets.)
I like to use a lightly smoked salmon fillet and some smoked salmon too to vary the texture but just make it from smoked salmon flakes or smoked salmon pieces by all means. Then it can be your recipe too!
It’s really useful ‘cos it can be made ahead and - unlike conventional lasagne - is perfect for pescatarians! Everyone I’ve made it for has loved it.
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80g (3 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
60g (2 1/4 oz) plain flour
750ml (1 1/4 pints) whole milk
1-1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1 medium-sized leek, trimmed, sliced and washed
About 250g (9 oz) baby spinach
1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
9-10 fresh or dried lasagne sheets
375-400g (12-14 oz) smoked salmon - I suggest a mixture of hot-smoked salmon flakes, smoked salmon slices or pieces and lightly smoked salmon fillet (see intro)
100g (4 oz) Comté or gruyère cheese, grated
40g (1 1/2 oz) parmesan, grated
1 heaped tbsp chopped dill leaves (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt 60g of the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes, then slowly add the milk, stirring as you go. Cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened then add the mustard, nutmeg and pepper. (You shouldn’t need much salt)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas mark 4 and grease a medium to large lasagne dish with butter.
Melt the remaining butter in another saucepan, add the sliced leek and cook 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, if using and cook a minute or two more. Season with salt and pepper, then add the spinach leaves a handful at a time and cook until the spinach has just wilted. Drain off the excess liquid.
If using smoked salmon slices or a lightly smoked salmon fillet chop into small pieces. (You might need to skin the fillet first). Flake the hot smoked salmon if not already flaked and mix the salmon pieces together.
If using dried lasagne blanch the sheets in boiling water for 2 minutes than refresh in cold water.
Spread a little of the white sauce over the bottom of your baking dish and place a layer of lasagne sheets on top. Top with some of the leek and spinach mixture, then some smoked salmon. Sprinkle over some Comté and parmesan. Repeat the process, finishing the top layer with sauce, a few pieces of salmon, and grated cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is brown and bubbling and the lasagne sheets are tender.
Leave to rest for 10 minutes then sprinkle the dill, if using, over the top and serve with a fresh green salad. I’d drink a lightly oaked chardonnay, oaked sauvignon or sauvignon/semillon blend like white Bordeaux or old vine chenin blanc with it.