I admit that when asparagus is finally in season, I can not resist purchasing a bundle every time I pass the display.
If it was up to me I would eat asparagus each and every day, I never get tired of it. Every Sunday, when I clean out the fridge, there is always a few bags of produce bought that never make the cut (I am addicted to buying too many vegetables), and this week it was asparagus. Usually I take the time to stand it upright in a cup with water, covered with plastic, to keep it fresh until I am ready to eat it. This time I must have forgotten and in it went still in the bag.
Most of the time you can see when the spears are past their prime because the stems start to shrivel.
Not this time. It was weird. The asparagus continued to grow and the tips doubled in length and they looked like foraged wild asparagus.
I admit they did not look picture perfect but they smelled fresh and obviously needed my immediate attention. A vegetable lasagna was on the menu and instead of roasting pieces, I thought I would make a pesto out of that asparagus, add it to some ricotta and spread layers with a topping of bechamela between each noodle. Just like you would if making a spinach lasagna.
Since I have cut my dairy intake to 10% of my diet, the bechamela with be made with almond milk and a small amount of Parmesan cheese and tofu ricotta.
Please don't crinkle your nose, with all the other ingredients you will not taste any difference and the consistency is spot on.
Let's get cooking....
Asparagus Pesto Bechamela Lasagna
makes 2 servings
* 1 bunch asparagus spears, cut into 1" pieces
* 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
* Olive oil
* salt & pepper
* 2 tablespoons almonds & 2 tablespoons pistachios
Saute everything in a skillet until the mixture starts to brown on the edges.
Spoon the pesto mixture into a processor, add additional olive oil and puree.
* 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
* 2 tablespoons flour (gluten-free mix, potato, garbanzo, quinoa or buckwheat)
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Heat oil and add the flour. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the almond milk, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens. Off heat, stir in the cheese and cool to room temperature.
2 cups tofu ricotta
Preheat oven to 375°.
Spoon enough bechamela to coat the bottom of a small loaf pan (about 1/4 cup).
Place one no-boil lasagna sheet and spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce, 1/2 cup of ricotta on pasta, then 1/4 cup pesto and top with 1/3 cup bechamela.
Repeat 3 more times (for 4 layers), ending with a noodle and then the remaining bechamela.
Top with more marinara sauce and (Vegan) mozzarella, optional.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, removing the foil the last 10 minutes.