Sometimes I tell my husband what we are having for dinner and he smiles and gets excited, other times he sort of nods and says nothing – this is how I know he thinks it sounds odd or even vile. Thankfully, he is tolerant enough to try everything and smart enough to not make any bold statements as he usually ends up gobbling it down, which was the case with this summer lasagna recipe.
I think the roast corn in lasagna was unorthodox enough to sound odd, but it really works. The bechamel keeps it nice and creamy but all the vegetables scream seasonal cooking. So if it sounds strange to you too, don’t be afraid. It was delicious.
Summer Lasagna with Corn, Asaparagus, Pesto and Ground Chicken(Serves 4-6)
1. Heat oven to 425F. Shuck the corn and trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Rub with the teaspoon of olive oil and place in the oven. Cook the asparagus until crispy, and just tender (about 10 minutes), cook the corn until tender (about 20 minutes). Remove the vegetables as they are done. Once cool enough remove the kernels from the husk and slice the asparagus in half lengthwise.
2. Heat a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Run under cool water to stop the cooking and set aside until you are ready to form the lasagna.
3. Start your bechamel in a medium saucepan. Heat the pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Once melted whisk in the flour. Whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes and then slowly whisk in the milk. Add salt and pepper to taste along with bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and reserve.
4. Heat a large frying pan to medium heat and add the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the ground chicken along with a pinch of salt and saute until browned and cooked through. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Stir in half of the bechamel, the red onions and the corn. Season to taste.
5. To assemble the lasagna start with a tiny bit of the bechamel on the botton of an 8x8" pan. Layer noodles, followed by asparagus, then the chicken mixture and then a spoonful of pesto all evenly distributed. Repeat until you have no more chicken or asparagus left, you want to reserve a dash of pesto and béchamel for the top. Sprinkle with cheese.
6. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes if baking immediately. You can also bake later after freezing or refrigerating. If cold it will take closer to an hour to bake. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.