Apple & Cheddar Lasagna
This Apple Cheddar Lasagna features a rich mushroom cheddar bechamel, crisp thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples, and a creamy spinach-fleck ricotta layer served with a gooey melted mozzarella lid.
Chef Tip: Recipe developed by Rhubarb & Cod EQUIPMENT: 1- 9x13 casserole dish | 1 Large, deep skillet | 1 large stock pot | 2 Large Baking Sheets | 2 large lint-free tea towels
Variety Tip: Ontario Honeycrisp was used but your favourite Ontario sweet cooking apple will work
|Mushroom Cheddar Bechamel
|yellow onion diced
|cloves garlic thinly sliced
|cremini mushrooms sliced
|white cheddar shredded
|Dijon mustard heaping
|tubs full-fat ricotta
|cloves garlic minced
|crushed red pepper flakes
|Apple Cheddar Lasagna
|dried lasagna noodles
|Mushroom Cheddar Bechamel (see above)
|Ontario-grown Honeycrisp apples (Note 1) thinly sliced, divided
|Spinach Ricotta (see above)
|fresh sage leaves for sprinkling
|mustard microgreens for sprinkling
For the Mushroom Cheddar Bechamel (Note 2)
- Pour the olive oil into a large deep skillet and place over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until just translucent. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a minute more. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned and softened. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet using a slotted spoon. Set them aside.
- Melt the butter in the skillet. Whisk in the flour to form a roux. While whisking constantly, slowly stream in the milk. Once the milk is integrated bring the mixture up to the barest simmer before reducing the heat to low. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add the cheddar and mustard. Stir until the cheese melts and is fully integrated. Taste and season with salt accordingly. Take the béchamel off of the heat and set it aside.
For Spinach Ricotta
- Bring a small pot of water up to a boil and add the spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and drain the spinach. Rinse with cold water. Form the cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Transfer the spinach to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
For the Lasagna
- When you’re ready to assemble the lasagna, preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x13” pan with butter and set it aside.
- Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Liberally salt the water and add your lasagna noodles. Line two large baking sheets with lint-free tea towels and keep them close. Cook the noodles until they are about halfway done. They should be floppy but still tough in the center. Transfer the noodles to the baking sheets and set them aside. (Note 3)
- Spoon a small amount of the béchamel into the prepared casserole dish and spread it to form a thin, even layer. Arrange a layer of the par-cooked noodles on top. Pour and spread a third of the remaining béchamel on top of the noodles and cover it with apple slices. Make sure the slices are dispersed evenly and only slightly overlap.
- On top of the apples place another layer of noodles followed by the spinach ricotta mixture. Add another layer of noodles, followed by half of the remaining béchamel and another layer of apples. Top the apples with another layer of noodles and pour the remaining béchamel on top. Smooth the béchamel with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with the mozzarella. (Note 4)
- Bake the lasagna for 20 minutes covered and for an additional 20 minutes uncovered. When the cheese is golden and bubbly, take the lasagna out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Top with any remaining apple slices, sage, and mustard microgreens. Slice and serve.
- When slicing the apples, reserve one apple for the garnish. Place those apple slices in a bowl of cold water with some lemon juice in it. When you're ready to garnish your lasagna, pat the apples dry with a paper towel before placing them on top of the lasagna.
- You can make both the bechamel and the spinach ricotta up to a day in advance.
- You can par-cook your noodles a few hours in advance.
- At this point, you can cover and store the lasagna overnight in the fridge prior to baking.