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Pack a powerful punch with spinach.

Byline: Sheila &Sean

SPINACH is at its best locally in March and April, so we thought we'd get in early with some tasty recipes.

This recipe for Celeriac, Spinach and Horseradish Gratin serves four. You need 30g butter; two leeks, washed, trimmed and chopped; one good sized bunch spinach, washed, trimmed and chopped; 1tbsp horseradish cream; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; 740g celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced; 100g finely grated Parmesan cheese; and 100g grated mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven to 180*C / gas mark 4. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, add butter and leeks and cook for 3-4 minutes or until leeks are softened. Add spinach and cook for one minute. Stir through the horseradish cream, salt and pepper and set aside. Layer the celeriac slices and the spinach mixture in four lightly greased 12 fl oz ovenproof dishes or one large casserole dish. Combine the Parmesan and mozzarella and sprinkle over the spinach mixture, bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden, then cover with foil and bake for a further 15 minutes until the celeriac is tender.

This is a lovely recipe for Silver Beet and Feta Cheese Pie. Silver Beet is sometimes sold as spinach or Swiss Chard but you can use normal spinach instead. To serve 4 to 6 you need: one good sized bunch silver beet washed, trimmed and chopped; 2tbsp olive oil; 200g feta cheese; 75g grated Parmesan; 1tbsp finely grated lemon rind; three eggs, lightly beaten; ground black pepper; two sheets readymade puff or shortcrust pastry; one egg, lightly beaten, for brushing.

Pre-heat oven to 180*C /gas mark 4. Place the beet in a large bowl with the oil, feta, Parmesan, lemon rind, eggs and pepper and mix really well. Lightly grease your 10in square baking dish and line the base with one sheet of your chosen pastry. Fill the pie base with the silver beet mixture and top with the remaining pastry sheet, press the edges to seal and trim the pastry. Score the top of the pie with a small sharp knife and brush with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden.

Finally, this is a great recipe for Spinach, Chicken and Creme Fraiche Filo Parcels. You need: 450g fresh spinach; 10 spring onions, finely chopped; 900g cooked chicken; 700g creme fraiche; 1tbsp chopped fresh tarragon; 75g toasted pine nuts; pinch of freshly grated nutmeg; one packet of filo pastry; and 110g melted butter.

Pre heat your oven to 180[degrees]C/ gas mark 4. Wash the spinach and then place in a saucepan with a knob of butter and cook until wilted then drain well. Put the spinach in a food processor with the spring onions, cooked chicken, creme fraiche and tarragon and blitz to a puree but not totally smooth.

Add pine nuts and season to taste with the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cut the sheets of filo into strips about 5ins wide, brush one strip with some melted butter and top with a second strip.

Place dollop of the filling onto the pastry and fold into a triangle shaped parcel. Brush with melted butter and repeat with the remaining filo and filling. Place onto a greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

[bar] SHEILA BENSON and Sean Millar are at The Side Door, 29a Hope Street, Liverpool. Tel: 0151 707 7888.
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Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Feb 26, 2010
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