Spinach lasagna..and 1001 gardeners’ secrets.

I always think of lasagna as a true homy meal…served with a fresh green salad and a pungent vinaigrette and of course a crusty bread to sweep your plate…It can be served in a large oven-to-table dish, which is what I prefer with a lasagne. It can also be served in portion dishes, which makes it of course a bit more elegant.

Suggestions:

  • You can use any vegetable, but don’t use too big a variety. The same Golden three rule, as for any other decoration-, architect-, flower arranging- subject applies here too. Less says more.
  • Frozen spinach can be used instead of fresh. There is no exact measure…check your dish and measure how much veggies and sauce and cheese you would need.
  • Pasta sheets: Fresh or dried pasta sheets can be used but make sure to use enough liquid in the tomato/vegetable mixture for the pasta sheets to absorb. Pasta sheets can be cooked beforehand, which means more work!
  • I prefer only two layers of pasta and I end with a third layer of vegetbale and béchamel sauce. But if you like more pasta in your dish, make as many layers as you like by spreading the layers thinner.
  • Béchamel sauce: Heat 500 ml milk along with 5 parsley stems, 4 whole peppercorns, a small carrot, branch of thyme and 1 celery stick. Leave to infuse  and to cool completely. Make a roux in a saucepan by melting 1 heaped TBSP butter. Whisk in  1 heaped TBSP flour. Leave to cook on medium heat unitl it becomes frothy…about 3 minutes. Remove the herbs from the milk and add slowly to the butter mixture, while whisking the whole time. Leave on low heat and stir until thick. If your sauce is too thick, add a little milk. I like my sauce like thick cream. I definitly don’t want to plaster a house! Season to taste.
  • This is not a recipe where exact amounts are necessary. Add a little more spinach or less, add more courgettes or less..be interested in what you’re doing, taste and taste again.
  • I serve with a drizzling of olive oil…just to give that bit extra mediterranean touch…

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…1001 garders’ secrets –  Jean-Michel Groult…

As mentioned before, I love garden b0oks…well, all books for that matter…new ones, old ones, worn ones, impeccable ones, thick ones, thin ones, beautiful ones, ordinary ones and all topics…but for today I’ll stick to a little book that gives so much advice on simple gardening. Just 1001 tips to make work in the garden a pleasure. there are many books on the market, worldwide, in all languages, presenting the same. We have all come to a stage where we are forced to do simplify work, whether in a garden or elsehwere. And we have come to a stage where we are forced to consider healthier ways of gardening…letting go of the pesticides in favour of more natural ways…plants, prevention, insects, animals…

My garden is all set for autumn. I’m just waiting for the colours to deepen a bit more before taking some photos. And in a few weeks, I’ll be setting the garden up for winter – wrapping the pots and some plants, wrapping and storing all garden furniture, setting out some winter decorations. But more about that later.   For now there is still a lot of garden reading and writing going on and here is a little taste of a book that inspires gardening all year round.

So, why not get out to the bookstore and find a similar little book that inspires you to go for a greener, healthier but still beautiful and delighful garden, filled with colour and harvests, buzzing animal life and quiet moments of reflection.

All images below taken from the book, 1001 secrets de jardiniers.

…Simple and easy garden care…

* gone are the times where gardening was hard work to keep in tip top condition, even when being a natural garden. After all, we visit a garden to sow happiness, not difficulties. *

…à la cuisine…

* flavour above all else, wild plants, make vinegar!, store dried, cordon-bleu tricks *

…enhance your space…

* keep your garden seasonal, some interest in every seaon. let it breathe some freedom by breaking hard lines with freeflowing and -growing plants, leave some shrubs to grow high and shape onto arches hwich will give as much charm as climbing creepers. *

…baskets full of fruit and vegetables…

* what can be more gratifying thatn harvesting your own fresh fruit and vegetables? but it can be hard work and tiring as well if not simplified and made easy for yourself. *

… a green view…

* See the garden as you wouild see the interior of your home….walls with furniture and decorations and wall hangings. apply the same to your garden…not only a green lawn in an empty garden. See trees and shrubs and creepers and garden furniture as the decorations of your garden and keep it as aestethic as you would your house. *

…348 pages of secrets for a healthy, interesting and inspiring garden, simplified to do it the easy and environmently friendly way…

…à la prochaine!..

Ronelle

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14 responses

  1. Ronelle, the Lasagna sounds delicious! I just made two pans of a milder meat version of lasagna yesterday, using a swiss cheese and cottage cheese. They are in the freezer for a family party.

    I will certainly try your version as I love spinach and the mild mozzarella cheese. Thanks for sharing.

    Eileen

    06/10/2010 at 15:31

  2. Je vois tes cloches:) Lasagna is on eof my all time favorite comfort foods..yours looks moist and delicious..not dry:)

    Little books of inspiration are great..Your blog is one of mine..of course you know that:)

    I put two beds to sleep yesterday by cutting them back..it’s too early..more work because it’s all still so alive..but there are many beds and they are quite tired and bushy looking..I’d like to see order..less overwhelming:)

    have a beautiful afternoon Ronelle.

    06/10/2010 at 15:37

  3. That lasagna looks magnificent and so appetizing! A mouthwatering dish. I love gardens, but unfortunately I dislike gardening… ;-P

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    06/10/2010 at 16:09

  4. That lasagne is so scrumptious! Mmm! I wish I had a garden!

    06/10/2010 at 16:13

  5. I don’t think I have ever seen a lasagna looking quite as good as this one. Ronelle, this pictures is just screaming “Eat Me!!!” in big bold letters.

    06/10/2010 at 16:23

  6. Oh Ronelle, that shot of your lasagna literally just made my stomach growl a bit. It looks so rich and delicious. Plus, I love the way its texture looks perfectly cooked. Yum!
    Ooh, I’m doing research today on how to start my new organic garden. I’m in South Florida now, and apparently one can garden year round here even for edibles. Yes (smile)!

    06/10/2010 at 16:46

  7. Ronelle, the picture of your lasagna is exactly what a picture should look like…..you want to get into the screen and take a bite….you realize you can’t and then you want to get up from the chair and go and make it!
    It looks delicious!
    Thanks for the images on gardening….it is inspiring!
    Ixx :)

    06/10/2010 at 17:10

  8. You know when you read a recipe and sit and think, “I have all the ingredients!” it must be fate/serendipitiy/all in the timing. And so my family shall feast on your lasagne. Our autumn garden is in full swing – savoring. Unfortunately in Midwestern USA – it is all too brief and we will winterize by the end of the month. Sigh.

    06/10/2010 at 19:33

  9. Bonjour Ronelle ~ love this post I’m reading it over and over!! Spinach Lasagne looks Superbe!!
    ~Dianne~

    07/10/2010 at 00:17

  10. Ronelle,
    I just love how your recipes are posted, and my! that looks like a very tasty lasagne. I might make it for meatless mondays :) Beautiful book – thanks for translating some of it so that we can share!
    Gillian

    07/10/2010 at 02:20

  11. Hi Ronelle… Mmmm dinner looks wonderful, perfect for a cool night! I love your garden book, the graphics are gorgeous:-) Thanks for visiting me:-)
    Bella

    07/10/2010 at 03:42

  12. Wonderful lasagna!!

    07/10/2010 at 08:23

  13. Thanks for this post, Ronelle – I’ve got a ton of spinach and am tired of my usual spinach salad. I’m so looking forward to this lasagne! (And I love the gardening books, too!)

    08/10/2010 at 21:38

  14. I have been craving lasagne. This looks delicious, and the recipes are so beautiful as well.

    21/10/2010 at 17:37

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