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January Cottage Cooking Club, Kale and Mushroom Lasagna

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Have you eaten your vegetables today? For some, eating lots of vegetables just plain comes naturally. For others, well, outside of salads, eating vegetables just may require a bit more prompting, especially if combined with a bit of uncertainty on the many creative possibilities that exist in their preparation. 

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Eating from among a broad variety of vegetables every day was in the designed purpose of our fearless leader, Andrea, The Kitchen Lioness, notes from a very small German Kitchen in creating the cookbook group called ‘Cooking Along with the Cottage Cooking Club’ or nicknamed by some, the CCC. In the Cottage Cooking Club a group of food bloggers around the world monthly gather, posting  vegetable dishes they chose to prepare from among Andrea’s given selection of  seasonally inspired vegetable dishes in the cookbook “River Cottage veg everyday!” by British author and television cooking celebrity, Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall.

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Now we don’t print the recipes on our blogs and part of that, I suppose, is to encourage folks to get the cookbook which I in fact, very much highly recommend as a part of anyone’s cookbook library. Some of the recipes are basic, easy preparations of ingredients, in my case, ways that I already similarly have been preparing certain vegetables or dishes for many years. Others among the recipes, well, join along in this months January Cottage Cooking Club discoveries, for some of these selections are plain out fantastic, dishes good enough even to serve company, as well as to prepare again and again for many years ahead, the first of these, my favorite dish of the month, Kale and Mushroom Lasagna.

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The Kale and Mushroom Lasagna I prepared twice. The first time around, early in the month, sharing some with a friend at the bus stop, who incidentally, also loved it. The second preparation, last weekend, when my youngest daughter Alex visited home for the weekend from Baltimore. Having been on business out at the baseball stadium in Arizona the week prior, and consuming far more than a desired share of burgers and hot dogs, her biggest request was to please prepare a lot of vegetables over the weekend. And so I did. First, I set off cooking a box of lasagna noodles, greasing them lightly with olive oil, once drained, and lining the pasta onto a baking sheet before covering. After cleaning and chopping a couple of bunches of kale, toppled into a big pot, just covered with cold salted water, the greens were brought to a boil before simmering for just a couple of minutes. Easy enough right?

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So while slicing up around a pound of mushrooms for the lasagna, having a good bunch extra, I realized that another among the month’s choices was Big Baked Mushrooms. Unlikely would be the purchase of large stuffing mushrooms over the month, so decided to give these a go in a smaller version, simply removing the caps, greasing a gratin style dish, topping the crimini’s center with butter bits, some chopped garlic, kosher salt and pepper, finishing off then with some fresh grated Parmesan before baking a bit longer than fifteen minutes, convection. Set upon a ripped paper lunch bag, the finished mushrooms readied for anyone to pop these edibles right into their mouth, they went fast. Home run. Another hit among the months selections. 

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Mushrooms, I simply love them, especially in the fall and winter months. This is particularly convenient given that I reside less than an hour away from Kennett Square, the mushroom capital of the country, or is it the world? Anyway, in Pennsylvania we have plenty of fresh mushrooms available most anytime. Once sprinkled with some kosher salt and pepper while sauteed to a near fabulous finish of perfection among these earthy delights, some chopped garlic and fresh thyme was then added. Another step done.

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Creamy. Creamy and tasty filling. Simply achieved with a roux and combined warm milk prior infused with bay leaf, an onion, celery, some black peppercorns, all finished off with a bit of Dijon mustard. Did I mention creamy and tasty?

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After the usual combining and layering when one prepares lasagna, the finishing touch, the sauce, and fresh grated Parmesan. OK, I admit it, I also added in just a little something extra, some fresh grated provolone cheese. Hey it was in my fridg, shouting out at me, use me up baby, take all of me, it all seemed so promising. There was no choice but to yield temptation. Delight. Oh, sweet, lovely, savory sin. 

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Somewhere in between two completely wiped out Kale and Mushroom Lasagna’s was another among the month’s selections, Curried Bubble and Squeak. Now this dish caused tremendous delight, not the least that it provided a balanced integrated flavor between ingredients, but also provided a big chuckle with my family in its preparation, finally having had the opportunity to experience one of the dishes mentioned in the Disney movie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Bubble and Squeak is one of the dishes requested by Charlie when unexpectedly being placed into the household of Angela Lansbury with his two other orphan siblings during World War 1. I also believe he asks for Toad n Eel, whatever that is. And yes, I’ve already checked. It mustn’t be vegetable sourced as it in not found in our veg index. Nevertheless, I suspect it was the sounding of the Toad in de Eel that set sites of Bubble and Squeak either being some sort of a joke, or otherwise easily being something positively horrid.

Bubble and Squeak is merely a fried up mixture of onions, cooked potatoes, and cold cooked cabbage, or as our buddy Fern prepares it, combined with a bit of garlic, and curry powder or paste. I used curry powder producing quite a nice flavor. Of course, remembering  proper seasonings of salt and pepper too. A rather tasty and hearty dish. Along with a reminder and good opportunity to re-visit one of my all time favorite movie scenes, ‘Portobello Road’, where I actually once purchased an old antique fishing net while on a visit, though no happy dancing or singing in the streets ensued.

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Next up, I prepared from among last months selections, Corner Shop Spanakopita. Using similar, traditional, filling ingredients in common preparation, spinach, onion, pine nuts, and crumbled feta cheese, the unique twist on this recipe, using puff pastry in lieu of phyllo dough. Also then, the spinach combination served without a bottom crust. Most all of our CCC members prepared this dish last month and thought it quite good and with many raves, I concur. Very enjoyable, pleasant combination, and lovely to serve at a luncheon, or, as one of the members earlier suggested, well suited for a pot luck.

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Yet another bravo soup from River Cottage veg everyday, Fennel and Celeriac with orange zest. Lovely. It’s a beauty too, don’t you think? Combined flavors between the fennel and celery root work so well together producing a uniquely delightful flavor. This is a filling soup, finished off in one meal, barely serving more than a cup each, my family was hardly hungry for the other side items earlier prepared for dinner.

 

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 Last, but certainly not least, we have Vegetable Biriyani, also a dish among last months selections. Prepared early on last month, this dish was a huge hit at the salon of my eldest daughter, Sooky. Of course, despite early rising in it’s preparation to insure a warm dish upon delivery, it was not only too dark for photographing, but Sooky was also in a hurry to leave, so there went that opportunity. Then again, when Alex visited home for the weekend I prepared this dish on the alternate night of the Kale and Mushroom Lasagna. Again, its timing provided not the best lighting for a photograph, not to mention everyone’s eagerness to dive right in.

Ah, the photo, there is outright nothing to be done on this. I just couldn’t make it better and so decided not to share it, but then because I liked the recipe so much decided to just share it. So with all the decision making surrounding this photo that I didn’t want to share, might you think I would have left off the now common watermarks with my name right across it?! So, while having a little laugh on this visual atrocity at my expense, consider it as ‘taking one for the team.’

And what a team we have, preparing and eating our lots of vegetables, and the many creative possibilities that exist in their preparation, just another great month this January Cooking Along with the Cottage Cooking Club. Many thanks to the fearless team coach, Andrea, at The Kitchen Lioness, notes from a very small German Kitchen. And of course, the vegetables cookbook, River Cottage veg everyday!

Big Hugs out there to all of the group. See you in February. 

If you are a food blogger and would like to join our group, please contact Andrea: andrea@kitchenlioness.blogspot.com

To see what other members of the Cottage Cooking Club prepared this month click here.

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20 Comments

  1. Posted January 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    What a fabulous assortment of dishes. That kale lasagne was a winner for sure….I love how golden and crusty the top is! And is that a fried egg with a runny yolk on the bubble & squeak? That alone makes it a hit in my books!
    Zosia recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – January 2015My Profile

    • Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Zosia, oh how I love that kale and mushroom lasagna, and the golden crusty top too! Yes, that is a poached running egg on the top, but now that you point it out, I forgot to talk about that in my Post, lol! It should did combine nicely with the Bubble and Squeak, a fun and easy dish for sure. Thanks for stopping by, see you cooking along the way.

  2. Mary Hirsch
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this Post, Peggy. Chuckle. Chuckle. Chuckle. Since I’m not an envious person, I’m not even going to deal with the fact that you made your way through 6 dishes, even making some of them twice. That 2-times business is just showing off! My primary question is, how do you share lasagna at a bys stop? I have a visual in my mind of that and it is not pretty. I defiinitely want to make the Fennel & Celeriac soup. You are right…it is gorgeous looking. Will make the lasagna, of course, and I will find my own bus stop and pull someone over to share it with. Didn’t you think the Corner Shop Spanakopita was delish. Thank you for all the added intellectual knowledge about Bubble & Squeak. Did I even see Bedknobs and Broomsticks? I cannot remember. I will google Toad ‘n El after I finish this comment. I also like the CCC group. It’s starting to have the same vibes that my French Fridays with Dorie group has…..we all like each other and sharing our food experiences is all pleasure, no work. The Lioness “did good”.

    • Posted January 28, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Mary, now that I’ve collected myself from tears rolling down my eyes laughing so hard my sides hurt. And since I’m not an envious person, I award you the gold medal for the funniest blog comment I’ve yet to read. Oh gosh, give me a minute, I’m laughing. So hard. Again. O.K Give me a minute. The bus stop is at the corner, my grandsons bus stop, school children, not random strangers on the highway. I merely wrap the foods in packaging and deliver them on down. Your welcome on the Bubble and Squeak. Sometimes I simply cannot control my intellectual self when it comes to Disney movies, especially those with ten minute segments of everyone breaking out in song and dance. The Cottage Cooking Club is a real pleasure, terrific food, fantastic people, and the occasional possibilities of laughing so hard tears begin rolling down your eyes until your sides hurt. The Lioness did real good!

  3. Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peggy, looks like you went to town here, this month selections were the best. Will have to prepare the kale and mushroom lasagna, also love how you described the bubble and squeak. Great post!
    cheri recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club Month of JanuaryMy Profile

    • Posted January 29, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Hi Cheri, Many thanks, looking forward to seeing your findings in the month, I must have posted earlier than usual and was eager for everyone’s posts to go up yesterday. This months selections were terrific, and then, a couple from the month before that I wasn’t able to prepare (or photograph!) The Kale and Mushroom Lasagna is delicious!

  4. Posted January 29, 2015 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    What a great selection of dishes! I love mushrooms too. Have you ever done a cream of mushroom soup? The bubble and squeak looks like something I would really like, but do you heat the cold cabbage too, along with the potatoes and onions? The Spanakopita looks great too. So many great veggie options…great for those working toward a more plant-based diet. Happy Thursday!
    Kelly recently posted…Exploring Galicia: Finisterre on Spain’s Death CoastMy Profile

    • Posted January 29, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, Thanks so much. I’ve not done a cream of mushroom soup yet but funny I have been contemplating it in my mind for a while now, actually after enjoying a delicious bowl in Kennett Square, mushroom capital of the world one day. Yes, you do heat the cabbage in with the potatoes and onions, it is quite good curried. The recipe also provides for the alternative use of kale or Brussels sprouts. The Spanakopita is so darn easy- you merely roll a sheet of puff pastry over the prepared spinach dish and brush it with some egg wash. There really are so many creative options!

  5. Posted January 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    You have been busy! I’m so glad you enjoyed everything this month. I did too. I really love this cookbook. I haven’t tried the Biriyani yet, but after reading your review I’m excited to. I’ve always loved having it at restaurants, so it will be a fun one to make at home. Just like your daughter, I always crave vegetables when I come home from travelling. Luckily she got some great vegetable dishes this month!

    • Posted January 29, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jora, yes, I am so enjoying this cookbook too. The Biriyani is lovely though I’ve now switched out the vegetable combinations using cauliflower, zucchini and garbanzo beans. One of my Indian friends, Jyothi, makes such exceptional Chicken Biriyani that I was not sure on this preparation, and though in my heart Jyothi’s will always seem the best Biriyani to me, this vegetable version is just so delightful, and was a hit on both occasions. There is something nice in returning home to good healthy foods, and this month River Cottage veg everyday! has made it so easy!Thanks so much for stopping by.

  6. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Dear Peggy, another wonderful post to make my heart sing! And to make me laugh – I was just wondering about that bus stop incident as well and just as Mary, I could not quite put my mind around this…too funny my dear. I would not dare serve some lasagna to those lovely compatriots of mine at a bus stop! Well, be that as it may, your dishes look amazing and I am all with you about the picture taking – when I made the bubble & squeak, I was in such a hurry to finish the post that it never got a chance to brown as much as I would have liked but it did taste wonderful all the same. The fennel soup was a delight, and so was the spanakopita and I promise ot make that lasagna, cannot wait, there is so much kale available now, I will get to it asap.
    Thank you for such a wonderful post, your kind comments and your participation – I appreciate your support, dear friend.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Andrea (still no castle in sight though…)

    • Posted January 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Dearest Andrea, Thank you so very much and I am so pleased you enjoyed this months entry, even the chuckle on sharing the lasagna at the bus stop. I could not stop laughing when I read Mary’s comment! Be assured you shall love the kale and mushroom lasagna, and I’m eager to hear your assessment. I do remember your photo of the Bubble and Squeak and thought it quite lovely. Nothing could compare to my desperate photo of the vegetable biriyani, but then, like I said, I gathered it up to ‘taking one for the team.’ that is, even despite any bursts of laughter it may inspire. So we’ve had many great dishes to share in January and I look forward to February, all of this grand fun created through your efforts and leadership in a wonderful group… The Cottage Cooking Club. Thanks for all, I can see that castle shining amidst the German mountains. Hugs, Peggy

  7. Posted January 31, 2015 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    You did a wonderful job this month – can’t believe you managed a couple of them twice! I remember loving Bedknobs and Broosticks so much when I was young. And if I remember correctly, the dish you’re seeking is actually Toad in the Hole, which is either a sausage dish in a Yorkshire pudding batter or toast with an egg cooked in a centre-cut hole, depending on who you ask.
    Teresa recently posted…FFWD – CroquantsMy Profile

    • Posted January 31, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Hello Teresa, Thanks so much. I really enjoyed the dishes this month and really only transformed them into other meals since I thought my daughter would enjoy them when she came home for the weekend. Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of my favorites among the Disney movies, especially the Portobello Road scene! Thank you so much for sharing with me about Toad in the Hole- what a funny name! Actually, I never really checked it out so much as I found it amusing, given we were preparing Bubble and Squeak! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I love seeing what you made this month, Peggy! You’re tempting me to try that lasagna, and the bubble and squeak. I loved that movie and now have the melody of Portobello Road running through my head. Speaking of portobellos, I’m glad to know that the “big” baked mushrooms worked well with smaller ones. I loved the flavors, but a little bite-sized snack sounds even more appealing that cutting up a big on on the plate. Oh, and I don’t remember the biryani at all, so I’ll have to check that out too.
    Betsy recently posted…croquants {ffwd}My Profile

    • Posted February 4, 2015 at 1:14 am | Permalink

      My Dear Betsy, so delighted to hear from you. You must try the Kale and Mushroom Lasagne. Hmm. are you not the individual whose preference does not lean toward mushrooms are you? If so, and even so, you shall be delighted! Please do try Bubble and Squeak, and join in the infamous Portobello Road melody. Isn’t it just great? Well, all except, as I said, nothing as such happened on my actual Portobello Road visit some years ago- but it didn’t matter, I had a fabulous time with some great finds as well!!! I agree, the little mushrooms do the perfect trick for a quick snack appetizer! And the Biriyani, even such that my friend Jyothi makes the best chicken Biriyani in the universe (according to me) this dish is a delight. Brilliant hits in all for our January, River Cottage veg everyday! on the Cottage Cooking Club. Thank you for all of your wonderful posts on a Plateful of Happiness, your insights, sincerity, and even times humor, that you share, so enjoyable! Hugs Betsy! Thanks for joining in!

  9. Posted February 9, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Wonderful choices. We really enjoyed the lasagna too, even with a few mishaps. I do want to make it again soon.
    My Culinary Mission recently posted…Book 118 | Taste: Recipes for Entertaining | Cheese Grits with Shrimp and MushroomsMy Profile

    • Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Hello Betsy, thanks they were great choices, happy you enjoyed the lasagne, definitely worth another go around!

  10. Posted March 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the recipe! I like cooking with kale, but haven’ tied it in a lasagna yet…
    Doug recently posted…Why Cook with Cast IronMy Profile

    • Posted March 19, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Hi Doug, Thanks much. I absolutely love preparing the lasagna with kale, though I’ve also added some other vegetables en route, such as small bunches of cooked fresh broccoli. The enhancing added dimension beforehand, warming and infusing the milk for the bechamel sauce with an onion, celery, bay leaf, and peppercorns, a fantastic flavor. Thanks for joining in!

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.