Tag Archives: spinach

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

19 Sep

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

A Saturday night in.  What better way to recover from the week than with some home cooking and a trivial pursuit marathon.  So here is what I created and served it alongside steamed green beans, served with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

And as if there wasn’t enough cheese in this meal anyway, we found an extensive cheese plate and a beautiful red wine to be a delightful accompaniment to the trivial pursuit and a perfect way to round off the meal.  Although in the interests of everyone’s cholesterol levels, the cheese plate isn’t a necessary finale to this meal.

The ingredients:

For the tomato sauce

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

300g cherry tomatoes

1tbsp tomato puree

Salt and pepper

For the pancakes

110g plain flour, I used doves farm gluten free plain white flour

2 eggs

275ml milk

50g butter

For the filling

250g ricotta cheese

50g parmesan cheese

250g fresh spinach

Handful of fresh parsley

50g Pine nuts (save some for sprinkling over the cannelloni when you serve)

Pinch of ground nutmeg

To finish

50-100g Parmesan cheese

Pine nuts

The recipe:

  1. Dice the onion and crush the garlic.  Sauté with a splash of oil (~1tsp) on a medium/low heat with the chilli flakes until the onion has softened and is translucent.
  2. Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to the onion with the tomato puree and about 150ml cold water and simmer for 20-30 mins, adding a little more water if it dries out.  Season to taste.
  3. Roughly chop the spinach and parsley and add to the ricotta in a mixing bowl, along with the nutmeg.  Grate in the Parmesan cheese Grate and season to taste.
  4. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan (don’t use any oil for this, there is enough oil in the pine nuts), but take care not to burn them.  Add to the spinach and ricotta mix, saving a few that you can use to sprinkle over the cannelloni when you serve up.
  5. For the pancakes: I could tell you how I did it, but Delia pretty much has it covered, so just follow her recipe (but with gluten free flour) and instructions (leaving out the lemon and sugar topping) here.
  6. To compile the cannelloni, take a pancake, spoon the spinach and ricotta mix down the middle and roll up.  Lay the cannelloni rolls in an oven proof dish.  I made my rolls quite fat like this
  7. Pour the tomato sauce over the pancake rolls (cannelloni), grate parmesan over the top (top tip, don’t hold back on the parmesan!  But then again, I am a cheese fiend)
  8. Pop the dish under the grill for ~5 mins, or until the parmesan is golden and bubbling.
  9. Serve with greens and a sprinkling of pine nuts.

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Poached egg with asparagus, spinach and mushrooms

2 Jun

Poached egg with asparagus, spinach and mushrooms

Sunday mornings demand a slow, relaxing and tasty start to the day.  This is my meal of choice, something delicious to start the day, and made absolutely perfect with a cup of hot steaming Yorkshire Tea.. Mmmm….

PERFECT POACHED EGG ALERT!!! Read down to find out how to guarantee the oozing runny yellow yolk every time

Serves 2

The ingredients:

I’m going to give very relaxed instructions on weights/amounts of ingredients.  The reason? Because this is the perfect brunch and life is too short to weigh spinach on a lazy weekend morning.

8-10 asparagus spears

2 big handfuls of spinach

1 handful of mushrooms – chopped (button, closed cup, chestnut…whatever takes your fancy)

2 eggs

2 slices of (gluten free) toast

Butter/margarine (a large ish knob)

salt

pepper

parmesan cheese (optional)

The recipe:

It depends how talented you are with multi-tasking, but ideally you want the toast, asparagus mix and paoched egg (and cup of tea) all ready at exactly the same time.  However, this can be a bit tricky, so feel free to play around with the order you complete the components.

For the asparagus mix:

  1. Get out the frying pan, put it on the heat and add a large knob of butter.
  2. When the butter has melted and is turning a little bit brown, add the mushrooms and sauté gently for 3-4 minutes
  3. Break the woody stems off the asparagus (cheat’s tip: hold both ends of the spear and bend gently until it snaps.  The spear will naturally break at the right point)
  4. Add the asparagus tips to the mushrooms and sauté for another minute (tip: you don’t want to overcook the asparagus, so make sure you don’t dilly dally here!)
  5. Add the spinach to the mushrooms and asparagus, and gently cook down until wilted
  6. Salt and pepper to taste

For the (perfectly poached) egg:

  1. Boil about an inch-2 inches (~4cm) of water in a saucepan
  2. When the water has boiled, turn down the heat until the water is just below a simmer (a few little streams of bubbles rising up, but no bubbles on the surface).  God of the poached egg, Heston Blumenthal recommends keeping the water at 80oC, but I don’t have a thermometer, and find this technique works pretty well for me!  He also says you don’t need salt or vinegar or whirlpools in the water and after years of failed attempts at poaching, I agree.
  3. Break the egg, dropping it quickly into the water.  Poach for 4 minutes.
  4. If the other components are NOT ready when the eggs have had their 4 minutes, pop the eggs into very cold water/iced water to stop them cooking.)

To serve:

Butter the toast, and top each slice with 4 or 5 asparagus spears, and some of the spinach/mushroom mix

Place the egg on top (and then grate/shave a little parmesan over the top if you fancy)

And enjoy with that nice hot cup of Yorkshire tea I was talking about earlier!  perfect!

For more asparagus recipes check out the garden grazer at: http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2012/06/sunlight-on-asparagus.html