Spinach-cheese filling

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This filling can be used in a range of spinach/silver beet pies, such as, spinach filo triangles and a spinach filo roll.  It can also be used with pasta as a filling for ravioli, cannelloni and lasagne.

Season:  All year

Type:  Basics

Difficulty:  Easy

Fresh from the garden:  silver beet (or spinach), spring onions, onions, mint, parsley, eggs

Recipe source:   Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Cooking with kids

Equipment

  • non-slip mats
  • chopping boards
  • knives, 1 small, 1 large
  • salad spinner
  • bowls –  2 small, 1 medium, 1 large
  • tea towel
  • scales
  • small saucepan
  • metric measuring spoons
  • medium saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • colander
  • tablespoon
  • fork
  • grater
Ingredients

  • 8 stems silver beet or 1 small bunch spinach
  • 2 spring onions
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 6 stalks flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g feta
  • 100g ricotta
  • 50g parmesan
  • 25g sunflower seeds (or pinenuts)
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

 

What to doWash and chop the vegetables

  • Set out the non-slip mats, chopping boards and knives.
  • Separate the silver beet leaves from their stems by slicing along each side of the stem. Rinse the leaves and dry in the salad spinner.  Roll the leaves into a loose bunch, then shred with the large knife.  Slice the stems lengthways into 2 or 3 pieces, then cut into thin slices.  Put the leaves and stems into the medium bowl.
  • Trim the outside layer from the spring onions and cut off the tops and ends, then slice the rest.
  • Rinse the mint and parsley, dry in the salad spinner, then chop.  Add the herbs and onions to the silver beet.
  • Peel and chop the onion and place in the small bowl.

Toast the sunflower seeds (pinenuts)

  • Heat the small frying pan over medium-low heat.  Add the sunflower seeds (do not add oil) and toast gently for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Don’t take your eyes off them as they can burn very quickly!  Place in the other small bowl.

Cook the vegetables

  • Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium heat, and gently sauté the onion, stirring with the wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes or until well-softened.  Add the silver beet mixture, then cover and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
  • Set the colander in the sink.  Tip the silver beet mixture into the colander and set aside to cool and drain for 5 minutes.
  • Press the mixture with the back of the tablespoon to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Prepare the cheese mixture

  • Meanwhile, break the egg into the large bowl and mix with the fork.
  • Crumble in the feta and ricotta, and mix it altogether.
  • Grate the parmesan and add to the egg bowl, along with the cooled silver beet mixture.  Add the sunflower seeds.
  • Grate in 10 “grates” of nutmeg and add salt and pepper.
  • Stir everything together.
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