One lunch we had last week made quite a stink, literally. After having too much turkey, we were ready to move on. I decided to make a light meal of white lasagna and paired it with the leftover uncooked Brussels sprouts. Bad.Idea. The aged Romano cheese in the baked lasagna and the notorious sprouts gave off a combination of an odor so strong that I had to burn scented candles and spray the whole house with Oust in between bites. Pardon me for sounding crude but my daughter dubbed the food combo foot-and-a$$, hahaha.
A lot of websites give advice on how to prevent the unpleasant odor by not over-boiling them. They suggest roasting or pan frying which I did with half of the sprouts. We didn't smell anything then, or maybe the roasted turkey masked the odor of the sprouts. This time I steamed them in a microwave bag which helped retain their bright green color but I suspect was the reason for the smell.
Stinky aside, I loved the lasagna and the steamed, buttered, and salted Brussels sprouts were a revelation, simply delicious! They are sweetish and have just a hint of bitterness which I find strangely appealing. I've had these tiny green stink balls just once almost 20 years ago. I remember them being very pale green, bitter and almost mushy and vowed never to serve them at home. But my daughter asked for them for Thanksgiving this year and I compromised by getting the freshest sprouts. I bought a whole stalk from the grocery which costs about the same as the loose ones. The advantage in buying the whole stalk is there are more of the tiniests (is this a word?) which cook faster and have a sweeter flavor. I am loving this vegetable regardless of the smell.
8 sheets no-cook lasagna, soaked for a few minutes in cold water to soften
16 ounces ricotta cheese, divided into 4 portions
8 ounces farmer's cheese (paneer or queso blanco), diced and divided into 4 portions
2 cups shredded Parmesan or Romano, divided into 4 portions
3 cups white sauce, divided into 5 portions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat dry the lasagna sheets on kitchen towels.
- Ladle one portion of the white sauce on the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Put 2 sheets of lasagna on top of sauce. Ladle another portion of sauce on top of the lasagna and spread evenly. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly. Repeat with the rest of the lasagna, sauce, and cheeses. Bake until bubbly and golden on top.