Spinach and Feta Pie

Another Jamie Oliver recipe...but truthfully there are so many variations of this exact pie...so be adventurous...change the seasoning...add sundried tomatoes, broadbeans or olives,...try it with silverbeet or nettles...just as is IS wonderful though!  It is written to make a large family pie.  I have halved the recipe before though and even made it in small ramekins.  So this will work well for the half share portion of spinach too. Ingredients 100g pinenuts 5 eggs 300g feta cheese 50 g cheddar cheese dried oregano 1 lemon a knob of butter 400g spinach 1 * 270g pack of filo pastry cayenne pepper 1 whole nutmeg for grating

Method 1. Toast pine nuts in the oven or cast iron fry pan on the stove.  Toss frequently and watch carefully.  Set aside. 2. Wash and clean spinach. 3.  Crack eggs into mixing bowl and crumble in 300g feta.  Grate 50 g Cheddar.  Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of a lemon, and a lug of olive oil.  Add the nuts and mix well. 4. Put the empty frying pan back on the heat.  Add a bit of olive oil and butter and half the spinach.  Keep pushing it down and stirring it around, as there is room, add more. 5. Meanwhile, take the pastry out of the fridge.  Lay a large sheet of greaseproof paper approx. 50cm long on the workbench, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again.  Arrange 4 filo sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper.  Rub olive oil over them.  Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and a bit of cayenne.  Repeat until you have three layers.  Keep Stirring Spinach! 6. Once the spinach is nice and dense, take the pan off the heat.  Add spinach to the egg mixture and grate 1/2 nutmeg.  Mix well. carefully move the greaseproof paper and filo stack into the empty frying pan so the edges stick over.  Push it down into the sides of the pan, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. 7.  Fold the filo sheets over the top and let them fall where they will. (I have also added extra sheets on top and then rolled all the edges into a crust) 8.  Put the pan back on medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the bottom cooking and then put the pan into a 200 degree oven on the top shelf and bake for 18-20 minutes until crispy and golden.

 

Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil & Parmesan

Ingredients2 medium-large zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1 cm thick slices 1 medium-large yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, cut into 1 cm thick slices 5 tablespoons olive oil 4 garlic cloves 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce) 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 150grms mixed greens (lettuce, baby perpetual gator, baby ruby red, mesclun, english spinach) Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, semi dried tomatoes (optional...for colour and taste)

Method 1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place zucchini and crookneck squash on large baking sheet; brush all over with 3 tablespoons oil infused with four smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool. 2. Prepare greens (wash, spin cut) and place into open salad bowl. 3. Cut zucchini diagonally into 2 cm wide pieces. Place onto greens. 4. Slice basil. Sprinkle on top. 5. Shave parmesan cheese on top. 6. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add sliced cherry tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes. 7. Toss at the last minute to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Chlorophyll Paste

Thank you to Ceila Lairba, one of our CSA members and a Thermomix consultant for sending through this recipe Taken from "in the mix - Great Thermomix Recipes" by Dani Valent

 Chlorophyll Paste

Time: 25minutes, plus overnight draining. Makes about 1/2cup.

 Ingredients
500g ice cubes
250g baby spinach leaves (any green leaves - kale, bok choy, braising greens, perpetual gator etc)
80-150g soft herbs (parsley, coriander, mint, dill or chives) leaves only, amount depends on how much flavour you want
Method 1. Weigh the ice into the TM Bowl. Set to Closed Lid position, press Turbo serval times. Tip the crushed ice into a large mixing bowl. 2. Weigh 750g of water and heat for 6mins/70 degrees/speed 1, bringing it to exactly 70 degrees. While that's happening, prepare a large sieve or colander lined with muslin or a clean kitchen cloth. 3. Add the baby spinach (or any other greens as above) and herbs into TM Bowl. Blitz for 6 mins/70 degrees/speed 10, then immediately pour the green mush into the bowl of crushed ice. NOTE if the lid is leaking STOP. You need a new seal. Otherwise you will make a huge mess. Be careful opening the lid - allow a 2-3 second delay before opening to allow for the green mixture to settle. I learnt the hard way and immediately opened the lid and had green everywhere on white walls and me. 4. Pour the contents of the bowl into the lined sieve. Leave to drain for 4 hours, ideally overnight. 5. The resulting paste left in the muslin is the chlorophyll. Scrape it into a container. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Discard the remaining green juice into a smoothie, on the garden - don't let it go to waste.
Ways to use it
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of paste to scrambled eggs to create bright green eggs
  • Mix it into pasta dough for green noodles
  • Add a tablespoon to a fresh juice or smoothie

Parsley, Fennel and Spinach Soup

Ingredients125g parsley 1tbsp olive oil 2 Fennel bulbs, chopped (fronds reserved) 1 onion, chopped sea salt and freshly ground pepper 2 garlic cloves. crushed 3 cups chicken stock 200g spinach leaves grated zest of 1 lemon and a squeeze of its juice 4 tbsp ricotta crushed dried chillies to serve

Method 1. Separate parsley leaves from the stalks.  Chop half the parsley stalks and discard the rest. 2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped fennel, onion and parsley stalks and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. 3. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil then add parsley leaves and spinach.  Stir until wilted. 4. Blend with a hand held blender or bench top food processor. 5.  Return to pan and add the squeeze of lemon juice.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 6.  Ladle into bowls and top each with 1 tbsp ricotta, a grating of the lemon zest, reserved fennel fronds and a little dried chilli.

 

Pumpkin and Autumn Green Cannelloni

IngredientsOlive oil 750g pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces 1 large red onion, halved, cut into thin wedges 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves 250g spinach, baby silver beet or nettle (I use a combination), lightly wilted 300g fresh low-fat ricotta Sprinkle of nutmeg 1 x 400ml tomato passata 1 tbs chopped fresh basil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 fresh lasagna sheets

Method 1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a shallow ovenproof baking dish. 2. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin and onion, in a single layer, on the lined tray. Spray lightly with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with thyme and season with pepper. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden and tender. Set aside to cool slightly. 3. Wilt your greens. Place over a strainer and squeeze out any extra water. 4. Place the pumpkin mixture in a bowl and use a fork to coarsely mash. Add the wilted green and 250g of ricotta. Season with nutmeg, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined. 5. Combine the tomato passata, basil and garlic in a medium bowl. 6. Cut each lasagna sheet in half. Spoon 1/3 cup of the pumpkin mixture along the centre of each sheet. Fold the sheet over to enclose filling. Spread 80ml (1/3 cup) of the tomato mixture over the base of the prepared dish. Place the cannelloni in a single layer in the dish. 7. Pour the remaining tomato mixture over the cannelloni. Season with pepper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Set aside for 5 minutes to stand.

Leek and Nettle/Spinach/Silverbeet Tartlets

I adapted this recipe from Linda Woodrow's Leek Tartlets with Olive Oil Pastry  (I used to use a short crust pastry but tried her yogurt, olive oil pastry and much preferred it.)
You can use spinach or 'Perpetual Gator' silverbeet as a replacement for the nettles.
Makes 6 large muffin sized tarts. Recipe doubles fine.
The Pastry:
Into a food processor or a bowl, put 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour and a good pinch of salt.
Put a couple of good dessertspoons of low fat Greek yoghurt in a cup, then top it up to half full with olive oil. You want it about half and half – ¼ cup of each. You don’t need to mix them.
Tip the cup all at once into the processor or bowl and blitz them together.  In a food processor it’s just a couple of seconds, but you can do it just by stirring.  Knead just enough to combine into a dough.  It needs to be quite moist so don’t add any more flour than necessary, and don’t overwork the dough or it will get tough.  Put the dough in a plastic container in the freezer to cool while you make the filling.
The Filling:
Sauté 2 cups of chopped leeks (white and pale green part) in a little butter or olive oil.  Do this over low heat for about twenty minutes which caramelises the leek.  When they are almost done, add 1 cup chopped nettles.
Beat together:
  • eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine or 1/4 cup milk or 1/4 cup cream or 1/4 water with a squeeze of lemon
  • a dessertspoon of lemon thyme
  • a good grating of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Assembling and Baking:The pastry is quite fragile.  The easiest way to roll it out is to put a sheet of greaseproof paper on your bench top, put the ball of dough on it, and cover with another sheet.  Roll the pastry out between the two sheets, turning once or twice to un-wrinkle the paper. You can then peel the top sheet of paper off, cut the dough to fit your muffin tins, flip the lot and peel the other sheet off. Roll the scraps out between the greaseproof paper again.
If you have a round bowl the right size to fit the muffin tins, use it to cut your rounds.  I do not so I cut the dough into squares which then stick up out of the tins.
Grease the baking tins lightly, line with pastry.  You can pre-bake empty for five minutes or just put a few dessert spoons of the leek and nettle mixture into each cup, pour the egg mixture, dividing between the cups and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake in a medium oven for around 20 minutes till the pastry is golden.

Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpeas and Feta Salad

Ingredients1 cup raw chickpeas 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash 3 carrots 2 beetroot 1 cup red quinoa balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil 100g feta lemon thyme salt and pepper

Method 1. Night Before: Soak 1 cup of chick peas over night. 2. 1 1/2 hours before serving: Drain the chick peas and refill with water.  Add a 3 cm piece of Kombu.  Boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until tender. 3. Vegetables: While the chick peas are boiling, peel 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes.  (I prefer these squashes because they remain whole even when roasted.) Peel carrots and cut into match sticks. Peel beetroot and cut into 1cm cubes. Place all on a roasting tray. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme. 4. Roast in a 180 oven for about an hour, turning occasionally so that all sides brown. 5. Quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup red quinoa.  Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock.  Cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa seed has split, a little white "tail" comes away from the kernel. This is the sign that the quinoa is soft.  Place in a bowl to cool. 6. Marinade: 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dessert Spoon fresh lemon thyme 1/2tsp salt and generous grind of cracked pepper 7. Greens: Use seasonal greens.  Mixed lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot greens, mizuna.  Rinse and spin dry.  This salad is delicious with as few or as many as you have. 8. Remove vegetables from the oven and allow to cool. 9. Assembling: Once chickpeas are tender, drain and mix immediately with the marinade.  As they cool, they soak up the marinade.  If there is no marinade left in the bowl with them, make a bit more.

Once cool, add about 100grams of feta cheese cut into 1 cm cubes. Stir to coat with marinade and let sit for ten minutes.

Place greens in bowl.  Top with quinoa, then roasted vegetables then chickpeas and feta.

Lentils, Monastery Style

This is a hearty soup which, when served with some corn bread, makes a complete meal!  It comes from my well loved copy of Frances Moore Lappe's  Diet for a Small Planet. Ingredients 1/4 cup olive oil 2 large onions 2 large garlic cloves 1 carrot, chopped 1/2 tsp thyme and marjoram 3 cups seasoned stock 1 cup brown or green lentils salt to taste 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1 500g jar of tomatoes 2 cups chopped spinach or silver beet 1/4 cup dry sherry 2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese

Method 1.  Heat oil in a large pot and saute onions, garlic and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes. 2.  Add herbs and saute for another minute to release the flavours. 3. Add stock, lentils, salt and tomatoes and cook, covered until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. 4. Add sherry, parsley and silver beet and continue to simmer until silver beet is tender. 5.  To serve, put 2 tbsps of cheese in each bowl and fill with soup.  Serve with corn bread or muffins.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Greens, Feta and Semidried Tomatoes

Here is one of the salads from our family holiday celebrations.  The flavour was light and fresh with the small zucchini melting in your mouth! Although not necessary, lemon basil really adds a lovely touch.  This recipe was enough for 10, as one of several salads.  It would go wonderfully with a barbeque or serve alone as a light lunch. Ingredients 4 small zucchini 400g English spinach, washed and spun (Other greens would work well too - lettuce, rocket, mesclun) 1-2 lemons 1/2 cup pine nuts 200 g feta cheese, firm - cut into 1cm blocks 1 well packed cup of semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped fresh basil, lemon basil and/or purple basil fresh garlic 1 or 2 cloves extra virgin olive oil salt and ground pepper

Method 1. Take about ten basil leaves and slice them width wise into small ribbons.  Put the feta, sundried tomatoes, basil, one minced garlic clove and enough olive oil to cover into a small bowl.  Allow to marinade while you prepare the rest of the salad. 2. Over high heat in a cast iron frying pan, gently toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly so they do not burn.  Remove from heat.  transfer to a cool bowl. 3.  Gently tear spinach leaves into bite size pieces and place around the outside of a large, open salad bowl, leaving a well in the centre. 4. Remove the stem and base of the zucchinis. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel large ribbons of zucchini into the well, turning the zucchini once you reach the seed section to remove all of the flesh from the other sides.  Discard the small seed section. 5.  Zest the peel of the lemon over the top of the whole salad.  Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of the entire lemon over the zucchini. 6.  Add a few glugs of olive oil (not too much but more then a sprinkle) to the zucchini and some salt.  Then with your hands, mix the zucchini in the well so that it all coats with the dressing.  Try to leave the spinach on the sides.  Add more salt, lemon juice, garlic, cracked black pepper to taste. 7. Gently spoon the feta mixture over the top of the spinach leaves.  Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the whole salad. 8.  Chop more basil or use lemon basil and purple basil and sprinkle this over the top of the zucchini.

Cleansing Green Drink

This week we have a recipe donation from Baxter at Palate EarthYoga in the Park has begun all over the Mornington Peninsula...and has spread to Silver Sands, SA as well!  Baxter will be leading yoga classes in the Sorrento park, behind the Hotham Police station each morning from 8-9 and then starting 27 December 7.30-8.30 + 9-10am.  Yoga in the Park is also happening in Mt Martha, Somers, Flinders, and Mornington.  Free range, organic yoga for all ages and stages! For an achievable cleanse when you don't want to commit to days of 'deprivation', or simply have too many christmas parties that would interfere with your programme...

Green drink: 1 garlic clove or ginger (opt) 2 cups lettuce (or silver beet or spinach) 2 cups parsley leaves 1 celery rib 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 4 cups spring water 1 fresh orange or grapefruit, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil

Spinach and Chicken Curry

Ingredients1 cinnamon stick 8 cardamom pods 1 onion or six spring onions, finely chopped (leave the spring onion tops for garnishing at the end) 2.5 cm ginger finely grated or finely chopped 4 garlic cloves finely chopped 2 tomatoes – finely chopped or 1 cup of canned tomatoes 2 large chicken breasts cut into chunks (or similar quantity thigh fillets, or meat on the bone if you prefer) – chopped into bite sized pieces. 2 tsp cumin seed 2 tsp coriander seed 5 tbsp ghee 6 tbsp greek or natural yoghurt. One bunch of spinach or chard. Salt to taste Optional 2 chillies with or without seeds finely diced

Method 1. In a cast iron fry pan over very hot heat, gentle roast cumin seeds.  Tip into mortar once lightly toasted.  Then roast the coriander seed and add to mortar.  Grind until you have a powder. 2. Heat ghee, then add cinnamon and cardamom (you can put them into a piece of muslin for easy removal later). Cook for about a minute or two and then add onion. 3. Fry onion until lightly golden brown.  Add ginger and garlic.  Fry over a low to medium until they are cooked and the onion is a deep golden brown. 4. Add cumin, coriander and optional chilli.  Cook for a couple of minutes. 5. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes collapse and the oil starts to separate. 6. Add chicken and chopped spinach or chard. Continue stirring until the spinach breaks down. 7. Then add the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly in between to ensure the yoghurt is well integrated into the sauce. Season with salt. 8. Cook for a further 5 minutes and ensure the chicken is completely cooked.  Serve with rice

Swiss Chard Fritter from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

"There's something pure about these fritters – they're all about the chard and herbs" - Yotam Ottolenghi Ingredients 400g /14oz Swiss chard leaves, stalks removed 30g / 1oz flat leaf parsley 20g / 3/4oz coriander 20g / 3/4oz dill 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated 1/2 tsp sugar 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 eggs 80g / 3oz feta, crumbled 60ml olive oil Lemon wedges, for serving

Method 1. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, and simmer the chard for five minutes. Drain, squeeze dry, then whizz in a food processor with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic, eggs, a third of a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Fold in the feta by hand. 2. Pour a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and spoon in three heaped tablespoons of the mix, one per fritter. Press down gently to shape into 7cm wide, 1cm thick fritters, and cook for three to four minutes, turning once, until they take on some colour. Transfer to kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining fritter mix and oil. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

YIELD  About 14 fritters, 4 appetizer servings

Taken from The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/jul/01/pickled-bream-chard-fritter-recipe-roti

Spinach and Feta Triangles

Fillo pastry is folded with spinach, garlic and feta, then baked to perfection. They serve well as finger food or party nibbles. Ingredients 4 tablespoon olive oil 1 to 2 cloves garlic, pressed 400g fresh spinach salt to taste zest from one lemon 200g feta cheese, crumbled

2 eggs 8 sheets fillo pastry, thawed if frozen melted butter fresh oregano and nutmeg (optional)

Method 1. Preheat oven to 200 C. 2. Gently wilt spinach in a large fry pan. Remove from heat and remove excess water.  Season with salt and garlic and mix well. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the egg, pine nuts, feta, lemon zest, nutmeg and oregano. Adjust seasonings to taste. 3. Lay a sheet of fillo pastry out and fold in half. Brush with a mixture of butter and olive oil. 4. Put two to three heaping tablespoons of the filling on one end of a strip leaving about 1cm of pastry. Start a sail fold by taking the lower left hand corner and folding it to the right hand side, making a triangle. Then take the right hand corner of the triangle and flip it up to the top.  Then take the lower right hand corner and flip it to the left hand side.  Lower left hand corner flip straight up. Keep going until you run out of pastry.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Continue making triangles until you have used all of the filling (about 12 triangles). 5. Brush with butter and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Served in the photo with Carrot and Radish Salad with a Glorious Moroccan Inspired Dressing on a bed of baby chard and beetroot greens.

 

Spinach, Herb and Goat's Cheese Tartlets

Other greens such as silver beet, nettles, and/or rocket also work well in a recipe like this.
Ingredients
30g butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 large onions, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 eggs ¼ cup cream
2-3 cups fresh spinach leaves 2 teaspoons lemon thyme 120g goat's cheese, crumbled  (For beautiful local goat's cheese, try Main Ridge Dairy)
Shortcrust Pastry
1 cup plain flour
125g cold butter, chopped
2 tablespoons chilled water
Method
1.  Preheat oven to hot, 200°C. Lightly grease 4 x 10cm tart cases.
2.  In a large frying pan, heat butter and oil together on high. Saute onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until caramelised. Set aside.
3. Shortcrust Pastry: Combine flour and butter in a food processor. Pulse until crumbs form. With motor running, gradually add water, until mixture comes together around blade. Remove, and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.  OR you can rub the butter through the flour with your hands until the flour forms into crumbs and hand mix in the water.
4.  Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Using a 14cm cutter, cut out 4 circles. Ease into pans, trimming edges. Arrange on baking tray and chill for 10 minutes.
5. Line cases with baking paper and dried beans. Bake blind for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Remove paper and beans. Bake, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes. Reduce oven to moderate, 180°C.
6. In a fry pan over medium heat in a bit of butter, carmelise the onion.  Then add the spinach and gently wilt.
7.  In a large jug, whisk together eggs, cream and thyme. Season to taste. Divide onion and spinach between cases. Pour egg mixture over and top each with goat's cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just set.

 

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Bocconcini

Fresh Tomato Pasta with Basil and BocconciniIngredients1/2-kilo fresh tomatoes sliced into quarters or eighths depending on size (cherry tomatoes work well with this) 4 cloves of garlic, minced 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced 1/4-cup olive oil 16 bocconcini balls cut in half 20 Spinach leaves, sliced Salt and Pepper to taste Pasta for four people

Method 1.  Cook pasta, removing and draining when it is still al-dente. 2.  In a small skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over low to medium heat, removing before garlic browns. 3. Pour infused olive oil over pasta, straining the bulk of the garlic. 4.  Add tomatoes, basil, cheese, spinach, salt and pepper and toss.  Serve immediately.