The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


April 26, 2014

COOKING WITH SIMON: Creamy lasagna with fresh vegetables

PALESTINE — The vegetables in the raised garden beds are showing signs of life. They’re slowly pushing up towards the sunshine and barring another frost or bug attacks we should have some great vegetables and herbs for the restaurant this year.

My friend at Iron Gate Feed Store has been a great help for sourcing organic plants and seeds, and helping with any questions I have.

Because of all the new growth and flowers, spring is one of my favorite times. The sun is warm, the grapevines are starting to grow and little seedlings are pushing through the ground. Soon the farmers markets will be open and we’ll have a whole crop of summer vegetables.

When it comes to recipes, of course, salads come to mind first and with so many fresh ingredients to choose from it’s hard to decide which ones to make.

But what’s also great is vegetable lasagna. It’s something I make that receives a lot of requests. Last Monday, it was hit at Aggie Muster and everyone loves how it is packed with so many fresh vegetables.

This lasagna is made with a creamy white ricotta sauce and layered with sliced chicken breast and vegetables. The moist chicken and velvety sauce make a wonderful combination.

Red, yellow or orange bell peppers mixed with purple onions, peas, spinach, chopped tomatoes and mushrooms make a colorful addition to the stark white of the sauce, cheese and lasagna noodles. It is a beautiful presentation for any occasion.

The key to a creamy sauce is making your own white sauce instead of using a packaged mix or jar of sauce. It is quick and easy to make yourself and so much better for you. Also the pure flavor of whole, natural ingredients is what will make your cooking stand out above the rest.

Your guests, just as mine, will rave about how good it tastes.

Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to or call 903-729-9500.

Text Only
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014