Creamy Kale and Leek Lasagna

by Heather on April 23, 2012

I kept a secret from you guys.  I’m sorry.

The secret is this:  for several weeks I was OBSESSED with kale.  And I didn’t tell you.  I didn’t tell you that I made kale chips and ate them almost every day.  Or that I sauteed it with garlic and olive oil and served an egg on top.  Or that I stirred it into soups, processed it into sauces, or any of that.

 

But I’m hoping that now, with this recipe, you’ll be able to forgive me because I’m about to rock your kale world.  Just thinking about this dish makes my mouth water, makes me crave burnt-cheese corner pieces of lasagna, and actually makes me look forward to kale all over again.

 

Not that the leeks are really helping that situation.  Have we ever talked about how much I love leeks?  They’re oniony, buttery, and oh-so-wonderful.  I really prefer them over onions (OK that’s a lie – I love them both equally) in a lot of sauces and dishes.  They just have that little something extra that makes me drool.

I also threw in some slices of fresh red tomato because I was actually looking to empty out the contents of my produce bowl, but I think they add the perfect touch to the lasagna.  At the very least they add a beautiful burst of color, but coming from a self-proclaimed raw tomato hater I think they must be adding about a zillion times more nutrition.  And if that’s not true?  Well…we’re just not going to go there.

 

In all seriousness though, this is a fantastic weeknight dinner for two that packs in a ton of veggies and cheese – two food groups you should always have at dinner.  It’s creamy and delicious, and you can even toss in more kale or some spinach to amp up the veggie content even more!

 

Let’s get cooking…

CREAMY KALE AND LEEK LASAGNA

  • 1 bunch kale, washed with stems removed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large leek, washed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced very thinly
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups milk (I used nonfat; use whatever you’d like)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 8-10 lasagna sheets (I love this kind from Barilla)

Preheat your oven to 375.  Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray; set aside (you really should use this size; an 8×4 will be too small and you’ll end up either overflowing or having too much sauce).  In a saucepan melt the butter and oil together over medium low heat.  Saute the leeks in the butter-oil combo for 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine; let cook for another 1-2 minutes stirring frequently until the flour has cooked out a bit.  Stream in the milk while whisking until everything is combined.  Sprinkle in the nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk.  Bring mixture to a slight simmer, then add the kale.  Cook over medium low heat for about 3-5 minutes until the kale is wilted and the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Remove from heat and get ready to build the lasagna.

 

To build the lasagna, add some of the sauce to the bottom of the loaf pan.  Layer 2 lasagna sheets on top.  Place a thin layer of tomatoes on top of that, then a 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese.  Next layer 1/3 of the sauce mixture, 2 more lasagna sheets, another layer of tomatoes and 1/4 cup of mozzarella.  Repeat two more times, and sprinkle the very top with parmesan cheese.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

 

Devour.

I’m telling you guys, this is the stuff dreams are made of.  DREAMS!

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