I look forward to purple sprouting broccoli all winter but, when it’s finally ready to eat, we tend to have huge quantities of it for a month or so. It doesn’t freeze well on its own, but I make several of these lasagnes to freeze and eat once the short broccoli season is over. It was inspired by a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home for ‘Incredible baked cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni’ which I vegetarianised and altered to suit the ingredients I had to hand, but liked the result so I’ve not actually tried Jamie’s!
20-30 stoned black olives
1/2 teaspoon crushed chillis (or less/more depending on your taste)
100g tomato puree
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 heaped teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (or whatever fresh herbs you have available)
Approx 120ml red wine
Olive or rapeseed oil
4 large cloves garlic
Lasagne, dried or fresh, around 15-18 sheets
1/2 teaspoon mustard (any kind will do)
2 tablespoons plain flour
Cheddar and Parmesan-type cheeses
Wash the broccoli and, if you have any long or thick pieces, roughly chop these. Boil or steam to your preferred texture – soft or crunchy.
While the broccoli is cooking, whizz up the following in a food processor: olives, mixed herbs, red wine, crushed chillis and tomato puree. I do this in a processor mainly to puree the olives as one of my children doesn’t like them but doesn’t notice if they are pureed. If your family are all olive lovers you could just chop them a bit by hand.
Crush or slice the garlic and fry gently in rapeseed or olive oil for a minute or so until starting to soften and turn brown. As soon as this happens stir in the olive/tomato mixture and take off the heat.
When the broccoli is cooked drain it, keeping the cooking water. Stir about 100ml of the water into the olive/tomato/garlic mixture then mix this with the broccoli and add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add more water if it doesn’t look quite liquid enough for lasagne sauce.
For the sauce, whisk together the milk and flour with the mustard and a little pepper. Add grated cheddar to taste. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened, remove from heat.
Assemble the lasagne in a deep dish/baking tray – mine is approx 30 x 25cm. Put a little sauce on the bottom, then a layer of lasagne, more sauce, more lasagne, etc. You’ll get 3-4 layers of lasagne, depending on the size of your dish, but you want to finish with a layer of lasagne, then cover this with the cheese sauce and grate the parmesan-type cheese on top.
Bake at 180C for about 40-45 mins until brown on top. Leave to stand for 5-10 mins before serving.