Lasagna Béchamel with Cedar Smoked Salmon

This recipe and photography were provided courtesy of our friends at Verlasso and Eric Wolfinger Photography.

This is a beautiful version of an Italian favorite. The creaminess of the béchamel pairs perfectly with the light smokiness of the salmon. The lasagna can be garnished with lemon zest or preserved lemons, and lightly chopped Italian parsley for brightness. A salad made of seasonal greens, olive oil and salt would be the perfect accompaniment.

Lasagna Béchamel with Cedar Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

For the Salmon

  • 1 10in Cedar plank (soaked in water for at least 1 hour)
  • 1 2lb Verlasso Salmon Fillets, roughly 9in in length, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

For the Béchamel Sauce

  • 10 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 6 cups Whole Milk
  • 4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Nutmeg
  • 2 cups Parmesan Cheese

For the Lasagna

  • 1 pound fresh Lasagna Pasta Sheets
  • 3 cups Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated, divided)
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Chopped Italian Parsley and Freshly Grated Lemon Zest (for garnish)

Method

For the Salmon

  1. Immerse an untreated, cedar plank in water; soak at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. If using an oven, Preheat to 325F. If using a grill, heat to medium-high heat and place the plank on the indirect heat side of the grill. *Note if you are using the grill, you will achieve more of a smoky flavor.
  2. Brush the salmon with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. When the plank begins to heat up, place the salmon on it (skin side down). In the oven, bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fillet can be flaked with a fork. If using a grill, grill salmon for 25-30 minutes or until the salmon is opaque in the center and it begins to flake easily.

For the Béchamel Sauce

  1. Heat the butter in a medium sauce pan until melted.
  2. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat until light, golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Heat the milk in a separate pan until it’s just about to boil. Add milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from heat and season with salt and nutmeg, stir in Parmesan cheese.

For the Lasagna

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare an ice bath.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the pasta sheets, 3 to 4 at a time for 2-3 minutes. Remove to the ice bath and allow to cool. Lay onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Repeat with remaining pasta.
  3. To build the lasagna, in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, spread a layer of the béchamel sauce. Top with a few blanced pasta sheets, overlapping slightly. Top with a layer of  béchamel, then salmon, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with remaining béchamel, salmon and cheese. Finish the final layer with béchamel and Parmesan.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-25 minutes before serving. Serve lasagna with chopped parsley, lemon zest and freshly grated Parmesan.

 

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