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Posts Tagged ‘Spinach’

Porcini & spinach risottoWe love a good risotto and this simple one doesn’t disappoint. Perfect cold weather comfort food.

Wine Suggestion: as this is a richer flavoured mushroom dish our first choice would be to head to a Nebbiolo, especially a good Barolo. With the addition of the spinach which has a fresh, iron bitterness we would swing back to a full-bodied white and go for a good Alsace Pinot Gris. The depth of flavour of this dish can balance a really intense Pinot Gris like one from Zind- Humbrecht, which sometimes can be edgy and a bit much for many foods. This one can handle it so push the boat out for flavour and enjoy.

As we had this as a weeknight treat, however, we found that a more humbleVilla Wolf Pinot Gris from the Pfalz also worked.

Porcini & spinach risotto – serves 2

  • 25g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 50g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g risotto rice
  • a glass of white wine
  • 750ml veg stock, simmering (we use Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder)
  • 100g spinach, washed & chopped
  • parmesan shavings

Soak the porcini mushrooms in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve to remove any gritty bits and keep for later. Roughly chop the porcini.

Heat the butter in a wide shallow pan and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add the porcini and risotto rice and stir until coated.

Pour in the wine and bubble until it has been absorbed by the rice. Gradually add the stock and porcini soaking liquid, stirring until the rice is al dente (you may not need all of the stock). Stir through the spinach until just wilted and serve sprinkled with shavings of parmesan.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, February 2009.)

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Roast pumpkin and spinach lasagne

Making lasagne is a bit of a labour of love but if you take it in stages it can be assembled in advance and baked when you need it. Always worth the effort in our opinion. This veggie version is particularly good.

Wine Suggestion: we found the Rustenberg Chardonnay from Stellenbosch really matched this dish with it’s masterful balance of oak, fruit and freshness. This is one of South Africa’s classics and one of the best value Chardonnay’s we know. It is picked, crushed and gently settled before fermenting by itself (wild yeasts) and after gentle care in oak barrels on fine lees it is bottled. Only at this stage do they add a touch of sulphur to keep it stable in the bottle. A natural wine without the faults of other proponents of this term.

Roast Squash & Spinach Lasagne – serves 6

  • 750g butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g spinach, washed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • whole nutmeg
  • 6 fresh lasagne sheets
  • 100g Parmesan, grated

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp light muscovado sugar

FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:

  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 6 peppercorns
  • ½ onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g butter

Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Halve the squash, peel and deseed, then cut into slices about 1cm thick. Toss with the oil in a roasting tin, season well, then roast until tender and beginning to char at the edges – about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Soften the onion in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the celery and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes & sugar, then leave to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until you have a thick puree. Season.

Wash the spinach and put into a saucepan with the water that clings to the leaves. Place over a medium heat and toss for about 4 minutes or until completely wilted. Leave to cool, then squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach with your hands. Chop and put into a pan with the butter, then gently heat and toss together so the spinach is coated in butter, season with salt, pepper and a good grating of nutmeg.

To make the bechamel, bring the milk to the boil in a pan with the peppercorns, onion and bay leaf. Set aside for 5 minutes to infuse, then strain into a clean pan. Add the flour & butter and whisk over a gentle heat until you have a thick smooth sauce.

Heat your oven again to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

To assemble the lasagne start by buttering a baking dish – about 1.4 litres capacity. Put a layer of roasted squash in the bottom followed by a layer of tomato sauce. Place lasagne sheets on top of this, making sure they don’t overlap (you can cut them with scissors to fit your dish). Add a layer of bechamel, followed by a handful of spinach and half the grated cheese. Top with more lasagne, pumpkin, tomato sauce, more lasagne and a final layer of bechamel. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

(Original recipe by Diana Henry in BBC Good Food Magazine, December, 2016.)

 

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Middle-eastern Veggie Pizza.jpg

These were so easy and would make a great weeknight supper or lunch at the weekend. A great way to use up Turkish red pepper paste!

Wine Suggestion: we’d suggest a light red wine or dry rosé to compliment these. For a splash out we drank the Felton Rd Vin Gris from Central Otago. This is made from Pinot Noir juice, only in selected vintages and is very dry and textural with summer fruit flavours and aromas with hints of chervil, fennel and an earthy spice we can’t put our finger on. Together with the pizza it all came together to make us feel like we were on holidays, even though we aren’t!

Middle Eastern Veggie Pizzas – makes 5

  • 5-10 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste (you could always use tomato paste)
  • pack of 5 large pitta breads or Middle Eastern flatbreads
  • ½ a bag of frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 balls mozzarella, patted dry and torn
  • 5 eggs
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • small bunch basil
  • shaved Parmesan, to serve

Preheat your oven to the highest setting.

Put the  flatbreads onto baking trays and spread 1-2 tbsp red pepper paste over each one.

Squeeze the spinach with your hands to get as much water out as possible, then scatter on top, leaving a little space in the centre (to crack an egg into). Divide the garlic & mozzarella between the pizzas and season generously.

Carefully crack an egg into the middle of each pizza, into the space you made with the spinach, and season with nutmeg and some of the basil. Bake for 7 mins until the cheese has melted and the egg is cooked as you like it (you will probably have to cook them in batches).

Serve with a little more basil and some Parmesan shavings.

 

 

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A classic recipe that we always find full of flavour and very satisfying. A good veggie dish for a cold night.

Spinach & ricotta cannelloni – serves 4

  • 60g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 300g spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 425g ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 16 dried cannelloni tubes
  • 45g plain flour
  • 450ml whole milk
  • 40g Grana Padano cheese (or use Parmesan)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Grease a medium-sized, shallow, oven-proof dish with a little butter.

Bring a large pan, containing 1cm depth of water, to the boil, add the spinach, and stir until wilted. Drain and press out the excess water, then chop.

Melt 15g of the butter in a medium pan and sauté the garlic for a couple of minutes. Stir in the spinach and season well. Take off the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and nutmeg. Fill the cannelloni with the spinach mixture and arrange the tubes in a single layer in your buttered dish (use both ends of a teaspoon to help fill the tubes).

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 45g of butter in a large pan. Whisk in the flour over a low heat and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until thickened.

Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the sauce generously with salt and pepper and pour over the filled cannelloni tubed. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, place on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

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Spanakopita

The classic spinach & feta combination never gets tired. These savoury Greek pastries are delicious and very easy to make. We worked out a production line (thanks Tricia & Orla) and had them assembled in no time! Great as a starter or snack with drinks. Perfect entertaining food.

Wine Suggestion: If you can find an Assyrtiko,  a crisp and delicious Greek white, then you’ve got a great match. Unfortunately it can be hard to find good Greek wines so stick to the Mediterranean and search for a Fiano or Greco di Tufo from Italy. Failing this we’ve had crisp Touraine Sauvignon Blancs with this as well to great effect.

Spanakopita (Spinch, mint & feta pastries) – makes 18-20

  • 500g spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 100g Greek feta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp finely grated Greek kefalotiri cheese or Parmesan
  • a pinch of finely grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 250-275g pack of filo pastry (about 6 sheets)
  • 100g butter, melted

Wash and dry the spinach (remove the stalks if they look tough). Finely shred the leaves.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook gently until soft but not browned. Gradually add the spinach, a handful at a time, until it has all wilted. Tip into a colander and drain, pressing out the liquid with a wooden spoon, then return to the pan with the scallions and cook for 1 minute. Leave to cool.

Crumble the feta into a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork – you can leave it a bit chunky. Mix in the eggs, Parmesan, the spinach mixture, nutmeg, mint and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

Unroll the sheets of filo and cut the stack lengthways into strips about 7.5cm wide. Brush the top layer with melted butter. Put a heaped teaspoonful of the filling in the centre of one strip, at the end closest to you, and fold one bottom corner of the pastry diagonally over the filling, so that the corner touches the opposite side to make a triangle. Then fold over the filled triangular corner, and keep folding it along the whole strip in a triangular parcel. Repeat to make all the spanakopita.

Brush the undersides of each parcel with more butter and place on a lightly buttered baking tray. Brush the tops with butter and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

These are best served straight from the oven while the pastry is still crispy but they are also good at room temperature.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

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Pork, chorizo & spinach paella

A delicious paella recipe by Tamazin Day-Lewis (inspired by Sam & Sam Clark of Moro). This is easy to cook and uses relatively cheap ingredients. It has already appeared on our table a few times since this picture was taken.

Wine Suggestion: This dish is full of flavour so you will need a similarly flavoursome wine. A Spanish red from Ribera del Duero would make a great match.

Paella with Pork, Chorizo and Spinach – serves 4 

  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 340g pork fillet, halved lengthways and sliced into strips
  • 110g mild chorizo, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 225g calasparra rice
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 4 piquillo peppers (we like the tinned Spanish ones)
  • 850ml hot chicken stock
  • 500g spinach, washed and drained
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat the oil over a high heat in a paella or large frying pan, then stir-fry the pork strips for a few seconds so they are still undercooked. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.

Lower the heat and fry the chorizo for a minute. Add the onion and green pepper and cook for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir the rice into the pan and toss for about a minute until coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper, then add the paprika and peppers followed by the hot stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or until there is just a thin layer of liquid around the rice.

Meanwhile, wilt the spinach briefly in a pan, then drain and remove it. Scatter the pork over the rice followed by the spinach and gently push them partly into the oily liquid using the back of a spoon. Turn the heat off, then cover the pan tightly with foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day-Lewis, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.)

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Spiced Potatoes with Spinach

This is a great Friday or week-night dish which you can easily eat on it’s own, preferably in front of the TV!

Potatoes with Spices & Spinach – serves 3

  • 800g large floury potatoes, cut into large pieces
  • 5 banana shallots, peeled and halved lengthways
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsps sea salt flakes
  • 4 tbsp groundnut oil
  • a couple of large handfuls spinach
  • plain yoghurt
  • fresh coriander

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Cook the potatoes in plenty of salted boiling water for about 15 minutes or until almost tender.

Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl. Add the shallots and toss with the cayenne, chilli flakes, garlic, cumin and turmeric. Add the salt and oil, then tip into a roasting tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until crisp.

Wash the spinach leaves and put into a pan over a moderate heat, cover with a lid and leave for a couple of minutes to wilt.

Toss the spinach with the potatoes and garnish with a little yoghurt and coriander.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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