Fresh Spinach Lasagna with Béchamel & Duxelles

This light and lovely vegetarian entrée is packed with spring favorites!

6 cups milk
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch spinach, thoroughly washed and dried
F&L duxelles
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 pound ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups grated Grana-style cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked very al dente and drained
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. For the sauce: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is almost boiling. In another small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook this mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture. Stir vigorously until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. For the lasagna: Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the spinach, duxelles and ½ cup of the parsley and cook until well-combined, pressing any excess moisture out of the spinach greens as you go. Set this mixture aside.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining parsley, ricotta cheese, eggs and ⅔ cup of the Grana-style cheese.

4. Oil a large baking pan. First, layer 1½ to 2 cups of the béchamel, followed by a layer of noodles, then half of the spinach mixture and all the mozzarella cheese. Next, add another 1½ to 2 cups of the béchamel, another layer of noodles, all of the ricotta mixture, and the remaining spinach mixture. Finally, add the rest of the béchamel, the remaining noodles and sprinkle the remaining Grana-style cheese over top. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and cook for another 10 minutes. Allow the lasagna to cool for about 15 minutes prior to serving.

Grilled Halloumi & Vegetable Kabobs

These kabobs are incredibly colorful, accented by halloumi cheese and fresh oregano.

8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Corne di Tori sweet peppers, seeded and cut into large slices
½ purple eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 zucchini, sliced in half and then cut into 1-inch slices
1 onion, peeled and sliced in half, then cut into 1-inch slices
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
1 lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Wood or metal skewers

1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. (If using wooden skewers, place in a sheet pan and cover with water; allow to soak while prepping the other ingredients.)

2. Thread the chopped ingredients onto skewers, alternating between cheese and vegetables (peppers, eggplant, zucchini and onion pieces).

3. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper, then brush each skewer kabob on both sides with the mixture. Additionally, slice lemon in half.

4. Grill each kabob, flipping occasionally, until vegetables are tender and slightly charred, and the cheese is golden. While kabobs are cooking, also grill the lemon halves, flesh side down until slightly charred.

5. Remove kabobs and lemon from grill and transfer kabobs to a platter. Drizzle with additional 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Squeeze juice from the grilled lemon over top.

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