One of the great joys of ‘grow your own’ organic vegetables is the pleasure of eating straight from your vegetable garden something you can’t always buy in a store. Depending on where you live you may not be able to buy unique vegetable varieties and even if you can, nothing beats growing them yourself so that you know that they are truly organic, non-gmo, and fresh.
Everyone loves Lasagna, but interesting vegetable recipes for it are not so easy to find. So here is an amazing version that can be made with Chicory and Florence Fennel straight from your own vegetable garden.
Grow Your Own Chicory and Fennel
Chicory is sometimes thought to be a challenge in the vegetable garden as it should be lifted and forced in the dark to get those dense heads you see in stores. But it will in fact grow easily and will taste just as good if you simply pick the looser head that grows naturally. Grow it just like lettuce. Direct seed 3-4 seeds every 12inches in rows 16” apart in early spring. Thin to one plant and keep well-watered throughout the season.
Rosa di Verona is a gorgeous color with great flavor. The bitter taste easily becomes addictive and is thought to be good for the health of your liver. When you grow your own it is usually added to salads but it also delicious cooked.
Florence Fennel is a bulb-forming version of the fennel herb which is a close relative of dill. To develop a good bulb in your vegetable garden it needs plenty of water, sunshine and rich soil. It does not like transplanting, so sow directly in late spring. Space the rows 12 inches apart and thin seedlings to 12 inches apart as they grow. The upper parts can be used as a herb wherever you would use Dill.
Vegetable Recipes: Lasagna
- Take three heads of Rosa di Verona Chicory and cut into quarters from the root end. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes in a 400o oven.
- Quarter a large bulb of Florence Fennel and steam for about 12 minutes – till cooked but not too soft.
- Cook a finely-chopped onion and a crushed clove of garlic in three ounces of butter till soft and golden. Add two ounces of flour, cook for a few minutes and make into a white sauce with two cups of milk. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chop the cooked fennel and add to the sauce, along with six ounces of Dolcelatte gorgonzola cheese cut into cubes.
- You will need around twelve ounces of dried lasagne sheets – green is a good choice but not essential.
- Make the lasagne, alternating layers of the roasted chicory with layers of the sauce/fennel mixture, ending with sauce on top.
- Bake for twenty minutes till golden and bubbling.
This is an amazing dish which will make you really glad you grow your own vegetables!