A no-pasta lasagna recipe where leeks are used instead of lasagne noodles. A layered dish of cooked leek sheets, bechamel, smoked ham and a crunchy parmesan top. An alternative to classic lasagna, low carb friendly and easy to make gluten free too.
Clean the leeks by trimming off the leafy dark green part and the root end; saving the light green to white part of the vegetable. Cut the leeks into 2-3 cylinders of about 10 cm.
Add the leek pieces to a pot and fill with water until the leeks are covered. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. When the leeks have cooked through and are soft, drain the water and let the leeks cool until easy to handle.
While the leeks are cooking, make the bechamel. Add the flour to a saucepan and set it on medium-high heat. Lightly toast the flour for a couple of minutes, then add the butter. Stir with a whisk to melt the butter, it will combine with the flour into a roux. When all the butter has melted, add the cold milk in one go. Keep whisking, the roux will melt as the milk warms. Bring to a boil, it will thicken. Add a sprinkle of salt and a pinch of nutmeg to taste.
When the leeks are cool enough to handle, cut them lengthwise and "unroll". Leeks are layered - an optimal thicness for a single leek sheet is 2 leek layers.
Dice, slice, or mince the ham, according to your preference. I used sliced smoked ham which I have cut into smaller bits.
Spread a thin layer of bechamel over the bottom of a casserole dish and cover with leek sheets as if making regular lasagna with pasta sheets. Spread bechamel all over the leek layer evenly. Add 1/3 of the ham and sprinkle some parmesan all over. Repeat this procedure until the casserole dish is filled with leek layers alternated by bechamel and ham filling. Depending on the size of the leeks you should be able to get 3 or 4 layers.
Lay out the last layer of leek sheets on the top and spread the last of the bechamel all over, in order to lock the moisture in. Add a more generous amount of parmesan to the top layer, to create a crunchy top finish.
Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, switch the oven settings to broil to ensure the top part will brown. For easier cutting, let the leek lasagna set for 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven.
Because of their texture, leeks can be difficult to cut when going against their fibre. For better portioning, I recommend laying out the leek sheets in the same direction as much as possible when assembing the leek lasagna.