Methods of watercress cultivation have improved so that it is now available all year round. Bought vacuum-packed, it keeps unopened for up to five days, but wilts quickly when exposed to the air. If you buy watercress in bunches, store them upside down, with the leaves plunged into cold water.
Serves 4 - 6
450 g (1 lb) minced lamb
2 large onions, skinned and finely chopped
2 bunches watercress, trimmed and finely chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano
105 ml (7 tbsp) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) lamb or chicken stock
50 ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine
25 g (1 oz) butter
salt and pepper
568 ml (1 pint) fresh milk
175 g (6 oz) Lancashire cheese, crumbled
225 g (8 oz) oven-ready lasagne verdi
1. Brown the lamb well in its own fat in a large saucepan. Pour off excess fat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the watercress, oregano and 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then gradually stir in the stock and wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Put the butter, remaining flour and milk in a saucepan. Heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 100 g (4 oz) of the cheese, stir until melted and season with salt and pepper.
4. Layer the mince mixture with the uncooked lasagne in a fairly deep ovenproof serving dish. Spoon over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle over remaining cheese.
5. Bake at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for about 40 minutes, until browned. Serve hot straight from the dish.