When The Middle Son and The Unbound Reader joined forces, their wedding brunch was catered by The Red Blazer in Concord, NH. They make a Breakfast Lasagna, that had all of us tripping over each other to get another piece. We had all moved on from the real reason we were there. We were all there for the Breakfast Lasagna! Theirs is divine. No two ways about it. Theirs is also thinner and totally about eggs and cheese. While wonderfully rich and creamy, The Goddess wanted something more substantial for her brunch. So this was what appeared, as if by magic, on the brunch side board. It was yummy and cheesy and creamy and stuck to our ribs. It held us until dinner was ready.
Overnight Holiday Brunch Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons dry shallots
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or lemon thyme)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 scallions, chopped (include some of the green)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound chopped, frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 6 eggs, well beaten
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 lasagna noodles, partially cooked (about 3/4 done)
- 4 cup thin béchamel (with 3 tablespoons minced shallots added)
- 3 cups shredded cheese (I used 6-Italian cheese blend)
Oil or butter a baking dish, about 9X13-inch; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the dry shallots with the wine; set aside.
Heat the butter in a skillet. Sauté the sliced mushrooms until they are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the thyme, tarragon and scallions; remove from the skillet and set aside. Season with salt.
In the same skillet, add the oil and butter; add the reconstituted shallots and sauté for a minute. Add the thawed spinach and sauté until there is almost no liquid in the pan, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs and stir them into the ricotta until well combined. Season with garlic granules, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
Begin layering the dish. Pour the heavy cream in the bottom of the prepared dish. Place 3 noodles in one layer on the bottom of the dish. Spoon 1 cup of the béchamel over the noodles; spread into a somewhat even layer. Place 3/4 of ricotta over the béchamel and spread more or less, evenly. Sprinkle a handful of the shredded cheese on next. Spread the spinach on next, then the mushroom mixture over the spinach. Then spread 11/2 cup of the béchamel over the mushrooms and top with another handful of shredded cheese. Place the remaining 3 lasagna noodles on top and using the palms of your hands, gently press down to “pack” the layers. Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over the noodles. Pour the remaining béchamel over the top, spreading it to the edge of the dish; it will be a fairly thin layer. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, remove the dish from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Cover with oiled foil and place in the over. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake for 45-60 minutes of until the center is just set. Remove from the oven; let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve with good toasted bread or English muffins.
NOTE: You may replace the spinach layer with cooked, zucchini slices. You can add diced sun-dried tomatoes and basil to the béchamel, if you want to change the flavor profile. I added some shredded, smoked mozzarella on the mushroom layer, because I had it. You could absolutely add some diced ham to the spinach, if you want some meat. Cook the noodles until about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through, but there should still be some firmness to them. About 2-3 days before using, I cook the noodles, drain them and rinse them; store in a plastic bag in the fridge. This casserole is excellent and mind-blowingly delicious with a drizzle of truffle oil on each serving.
Overnight Holiday Brunch Lasagna Recipe©Marcia Lahends 2015. All rights reserved.
If you are a fan of truffle, then when sautéing the mushrooms, you might want to add some porcini powder. This is nothing more than ground, dried porcini mushrooms. They max out the umami! Then, when you serve this, drizzle each portion with a bit, maybe 1/2-1 teaspoon truffle oil over each portion. Then pick up your fork and prepare for an orgasmic experience that’s out of this world. Yeah….
This may have been even better reheated. You know how that sometimes happens. Even though there was that overnight nap in the fridge, which should have allowed a co-mingling of the ingredients, reheating seemed to make the flavors bloom. We also enjoyed it at slightly warmer than room temperature. Do wait at least 20 minutes before cutting it and serving it, or you can kiss the roof of your mouth “good-bye”. Kiss the one you love, until it’s ready to serve…a much better way to prevent burns!