Mount Warning, like I have never seen it before. The many years I travelled down to the Norther Rivers to visit Roy’s folks. I don’t think I have ever seen the whole mountain. When driving from Queensland into New South Wales the clouds would always just appear. I have always been told by my friends the aboriginal name – Wollumbin, means cloud catcher. No wonder I had never really seen it.
With Lily, Roy and I in the car we headed south for a big Twin Celebration. Harry (Roy & Lily’s dad) and his twin sister June were having a big party for their 60th year in the world. With many tasks at hand, everyone was helping get the party ready.
Lucky for me, one of my key skills is cooking, which I love. Lily and I decided to make a vegetable lasagne to feed the hungry workers at the end of the day.
Delicious salad – inspired by Lily’s friend Mia who made this a few nights before.
The Moult crew had no idea what it was like to take hundreds of photos of a meal before you could eat. Everyone designing & styling their plates to get a photo that may could be web worthy. I do believe that the plate above was arranged by June.
Below the Harry the birthday man, with wine in hand, big smiles and lasagna to eat.
From left to right: Harry, June, Dave, Marg, Lily, Dick, Roy, Joey & Jefte is hiding behind the pole. *I have a new camera lens that I am still learning to use, so yet it very blurry.
Below: Dick get in to the swing of food photography time and shows off the salad.
Above: I got the pretty plate, though the slice of lasagne is just not well executed on the plate.
The whole idea was to make it delicious, which it was. The next day I heard about the lasagne by people who had not even eaten it. To funny, it must have been good. Taste is important, but that night so was the wine.
I have to say that I do love sitting around a table with plenty of wine & food on the table, surrounded by great people which makes for great conversation. A question to my readers, what makes a great night around your table? If you could invite anyone who would it be eating with you?
- 2 large eggplants
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- Olive oil
- 1 large bunch of silverbeet
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
- 250ml of red wine
- 2 tins of whole roma tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch of basil, sliced including the soft part of the stalk
- 50gm butter
- ½ cup of flour
- 1 litre of milk
- 1 ½ cups of cheese, grated
- 2 packets of lasagne sheets – ready cooked
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180’c. Cut the eggplant into 2cm thick slices, and lay on a greased baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil, thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Bake for 30 40 min or until softened.
- Separate the stalks from the green leaves on the silverbeet. Putting the green leaves to the side – cutting them into thin slithers. Cut the white stalks into thin slices.
- In a large pot heat a table spoon of olive oil. Cook off the onions for one minute, add the garlic and silverbeet stalks. Cook the silverbeet stalks on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Add red wine, tinned tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar and one tin of water, bring to the boil, and reduce to simmer for one hour. Finally season with salt and pepper, adding the chopped basil and remaining thyme leaves.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter on a medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Add a quarter of the milk and stir removing any lumps. Add the remaining milk, and simmer for 10 minutes or until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper, add nutmeg and half the cheese, stir to combine.
- In a large lasagne dish (30cm x 45cm), place two spoonful’s of tomato mixture. Arrange a layer of pasta sheets in the bottom. Cover with eggplant slices and top with half of the tomato mixture. Cover with another layer of pasta sheets, place the sliced leaves of silverbeet over the top and spread over half of the béchamel (white sauce). Layer again with pasta sheets, pressing the spinach down. Pour the remaining tomato mixture in and layer again with pasta sheets. Pour the last of the béchamel sauce on the top layer, and sprinkle over with cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 40-50min or until golden on top. Serve with your favourite salad.