Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yotam Ottolenghi's Mushroom Lasagne

I salivate over Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes every Saturday in the Guardian, although his usual massive list of sometimes obscure ingredients usually deters me from trying anything. However, his recent mushroom lasagne recipe looked so delicious, and so relatively easy to do (we've all made lasagnes before, right?), that I decided to try it out on my friend Marie, who was visiting on her way to Minneapolis recently.

We paid a touristy visit to Borough Market where we loaded up on fancy mushrooms - pied de mouton and girolles (and then back-tracked to Sainsbury's for loads of more ordinary chestnut mushrooms.

A letter in the Guardian the following week pointed out that Yotam's recipe called for almost a kilogram of butter and cheese. Checking back, this is true. All I can suggest is avoid thinking about it too much. The results are truly spectacular. Since this was the very first Ottolenghi recipe I was trying, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and use all of the specified cheeses: Gruyere, Feta, Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan. I do admit I thought the list was a bit extravagant but the genius of this selection of cheeses, and the way the lasagne is constructed, means you get the full value of all the different flavours and textures coming through. The same goes for the herbs, which add a welcome green sparkle to the cheesy construction.

We got 6 very generous servings out of this, and I'm definitely adding it to my list of party tricks.

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