| Bessie’s Cafe & Bistro|
984 Abbeydale Road,
S7 2QF – 0114 2363084
November has been a tough month for everyone, after the strange un-reality of the first lockdown back in March this month has felt depressinly like ‘the new normal’ and given the time of year it has meant a lot of time being stuck indoors. At Bessie’s we took the difficult decision to close for November rather than switching to take away only. We love our customers and so much of what makes our little cafe so special is down to them. Not having anyone sat inside really doesn’t make the most of the space and doesn’t create the homely atmosphere everyone loves so much about the cafe. Thankfully the furlough scheme and COVID support grant are in place which has meant we have been able to close for the month while still retaining our lovely chef Lydia as well as being able to keep on top of our overheads. This month has also been a great opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what has been the most difficult year of my professional career, there have been so many challenges trying to navigate a hospitality business through this difficult and uncertain time just staying afloat has been the main measure of success since March. It has also given me time to look into the future, both in terms of reopening in the short term but also what the hospitality landscape might look like in a post-COVID society and what learnings we can take from this nightmare of a year! Whatever the future looks like the reality is that at present there is still uncertainty clouding every decision, will the lockdown end on December 3rd? Will there still be restrictions on hospitality? Can I plan for big Christmas meals in the cafe or do I need to pivot towards feeding people in their homes? All of these questions remain unanswered and it makes planning very difficult but we are confident that whatever happens, the show will go on! We’ve got a great winter menu ready to go and we really hope to be inviting customers back in within the next couple of weeks. Please keep an eye on our social media for updates and we can’t wait to see you all again soon!
Prepare the Bechamel Sauce
- Melt the butter.
- Stir in flour until it forms a dough.
- On high heat add milk in small amounts at a time and mix thoroughly each time until you’ve mixed in all the milk.
- Add cheese to the mixture (optional). I add ricotta and pecorino for a luxurious taste!
Make the Lasagne Filling
- Using a large square ovenproof dish place half the lasagne filling at the bottom and flatten with a wooden spoon.
- Layer with lasagne sheets.
- Spoon on half the Bechamel sauce.
- Layer with lasagne sheets.
- Pour on the remaining pea and asparagus filling and flatten with a spoon squishing everything neatly.
- Pour the remaining half of the bechamel on top and garnish using the asparagus tips and black pepper.
- Cook the lasagne at 180°C for 1 hour and leave to stand for 10 mins after cooking.
- Serve with a green salad and enjoy!
(Serves x4) 30mins prep 1h10 cooking
Bechamel Sauce 500ml whole milk 1 bay leaf
2 cloves 50g butter
50g plain flour
320g frozen petit pois 3 garlic cloves, chopped
30g pack fresh basil, roughly chopped
½ lemon, zested
4 spring onions, chopped 1 vegetable stock cube
250g asparagus, woody ends trimmed 25g parmesan