Tag Archives: Spinach

Mushroom Spinach Tagliatelle

Mushroom Spinach Tagliatelle

Mushroom Spinach Tagliatelle

I have to be disciplined when it comes to pasta.  I have a weakness and could eat it every day.  Actually a while back I noticed I was making pasta for dinner almost every week nights and it was seeping into my weekend meals too.  I’m not worried about carbs or anything extreme like that, it was more a variety issue for me and also pasta is so easy I felt I was getting a bit lazy too.  So now, I try to eat pasta no more than twice a week at home (that little clause allows me to eat pasta out as much as I want) and I try not to post too many pasta recipes on my website either.  I want to give you lots of variety too.  But, there are times when I just have to have it, and, I just have to share it.  This one is a great mid-weeker, easy, quick and loads of flavour.  Best eaten when you can get some nice seasonal mushrooms.

Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

300gr / 10.5oz  good quality egg tagliatelle pasta
2 x tbsp of olive oil
2 x shallots chopped finely
3 x garlic cloves chopped finely
250gr / 9oz.  minced beef
200gr /  7oz. frozen, chopped spinach (defrosted)
1 x tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped finely
400gr / 14oz. chestnut mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 x tbsp of Marsala wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional, to dress:  Some flat parsley, chopped roughly and a little blue cheese, gorgonzola or stilton are my favourites for this dish.

Method

  1. Heat the oil on a high heat in a non-stick pan then add the shallots, garlic and thyme. Allow them to brown slightly, this will take a couple of minutes.
  2. Check the pasta cooking time on its packaging and try to match this with the rest of the cooking time – sounds complicated, but once you’ve made this a couple of times, it’ll be like second nature – promise.
  3. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned, stirring only occasionally.
  4. De-glaze with the Marsala wine, let it bubble off and add the mushrooms and then the spinach. Stir through and add a some salt and pepper to taste.
  5. This part needs to be done quickly, so don’t mess about. Once your pasta is cooked, before draining take about 4 tablespoons of the water in which your pasta has cooked and add it to the mushroom, spinach sauce.  Drain your pasta add it immediately to the still cooking mushroom and spinach mix, stir through, check seasoning again and serve immediately with the parsley and blue cheese sprinkled over should you wish.

 Tips and Variations

  • Make a veggie version by losing the mince, adding lots more mushrooms – a nice mix rather than just chestnut will give a deeper flavour, and a little sage (add this at the same time as the shallots and thyme).

Mushroom Spinach Tagliatelle

White Asparagus with Spinach and Salmon

White asparagus with Spinach and Salmon

White Asparagus with Spinach and Salmon:

Not so much of a recipe as a serving suggestion with of course instructions how to make it.  All I’ve done here is take some of my flavours to combine with white asparagus and paired them up.  It’s a lot simpler than getting all hot and bothered with Hollandaise sauce!

Enjoy!

Preparation Time:  25 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for 4 servings
4 or 5 large white asparagus spears per person, cleaned, peeled and with the woody end of about 2.5cm / 1in removed.
20gr / 0.7oz. unsalted butter
8 large eggs for poaching
600gr / 1.3lb. x hot smoked salmon
1 x tbsp olive oil
4 x large garlic cloves chopped finely
500gr /  1.1 lb wild spinach, washed and woody stems removed.  Chop roughly.
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the butter, let it melt and drop the asparagus in to cook for about 7 minutes. Make sure the pan is large enough and has enough water in it to give the asparagus enough room to cook.  Check if they are cooked after 5 minutes by inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the asparagus.  When they are ready there should still be a little resistance.  Asparagus are best cooked al dente.
  2. Dry off the spinach with a clean tea towel to remove most of the excess water after washing. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, or you can do this in a larger soup/stock pan that will hold the spinach.  The heat should be medium high.  Add the garlic and cook for about 20 seconds (don’t let it colour and certainly not burn), then add as much spinach as you can and toss it in the garlic until it starts to wilt.  Keep adding the spinach until it has all wilted. Remove the pan from the heat,  check for seasoning before serving.
  3. The best way to poach eggs is to boil water in the kettle, pour it into a nice sized pan so that your eggs have room to move (I tend to poach in batches of two or three). Add a pinch of salt and keep the water just under boiling – you shouldn’t see any bubbles.  Add a dessert spoonful of vinegar (doesn’t matter which, but colourless is best).  Make sure your eggs are fresh and at room temperature.  Stir the water to create a whirlpool effect and break the eggs into it.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until set then remove with a slotted spoon and drain off on a tea towel or kitchen paper.
  4. Once all your elements are ready, arrange them on your plates and break the salmon over the top.

 Tips and Variations

  • Serve with some boiled potatoes with some good quality mayonnaise and mustard on the side.
  • The season for white asparagus is quite short, running from mid/end April to the end of June (depending on each season’s weather).
  • You can do this with green asparagus too and cold smoked salmon.
  • If I have a bigger group of people I tend to soft boil eggs instead of poaching – it’s just a bit easier.

Spinach with Garlic

Spinach and Garlic

Spinach With Garlic :

Until recently I hardly ever made spinach this way, I hardly ever used nice big wild spinach leaves.  Mostly I’d use the baby leaves in salads with roast vegetables and cous cous, or, I’d use the frozen variety.  I still use both of these, especially the frozen type of spinach, it’s just so handy to drop into sauces, stews or soups.  I’ve noticed that although a lot of people tell me they love spinach, so many don’t cook it, or, they do the boiling thing – yeeeuuucchh!

I have to admit I’ve become slightly addicted to this recipe and go through loads of spinach this way each week.  But, I suppose there could be worse addictions, right?  I’ve been eating it so much I even started to think my body might be deficient in some vitamins or minerals, but then, that doesn’t explain my constant chocolate and ice-cream cravings – or does it?

Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 5 minutes

Serves 4
1 x tbsp olive oil
4 x large garlic cloves chopped finely
500gr /  1.1 lb wild spinach, washed and woody stems removed.  Chop roughly.
½ a nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Method 

  1. Dry off the spinach with a clean tea towel to remove most of the excess water after washing.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, or you can do this in a larger soup/stock pan that will hold the spinach. The heat should be medium high.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about 20 seconds (don’t let it colour and certainly not burn), then add as much spinach as you can and toss it in the garlic until it starts to wilt. Keep adding the spinach until it has all wilted.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, grate over the nutmeg add salt and pepper to taste, stir through and serve immediately.

Tips and Variations

  • It is important to toss the spinach in your garlic and oil so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Alternatively you can add the garlic after the spinach, but I prefer it before as I like to cook the rawness out of the garlic.
  • I like to add some fresh or dried chili flakes to the oil and garlic, anchovies work well too. A spritz of lemon juice over the spinach before serving is also nice especially if you serve with chicken or fish.
  • This is a great side dish to so many meats, I love it with fish and chicken but goes equally well with pork or beef too.

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach and Paneer Curry

Spinach and Paneer Curry

Spinach and Paneer Curry:

Ever since my south Indian travels I’ve been working on getting to grips with some of my favourite food from the trip.  This curry with spinach and paneer (Indian fresh cheese) is really fresh and light and, it uses a very (in my opinion) exotic spice –  asafoetida.  This spice has a sort of earthy onion type aroma and flavour and in its raw form is a root like ginger or turmeric.  In the South of India they use it in a lot of vegetarian curries.  I had heard of it, but I had absolutely no idea how to use it.  That’s the great thing about travelling to the places where your favourite food originates, you get to taste how it should taste and that makes it so much easier to understand how to use it.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes 

Serves 4
500gr / 1.1 lb. of paneer cut into cubes (you can also use tofu)
For the Curry
2 x tbsp of sunflower oil
2 x red onions, quartered
2 x large tomatoes, quartered
4 x large garlic cloves
2 x tsp of cumin
1 x tsp of turmeric
3 x tsp of coriander
3 x tsp of cardamom
1 x tsp f fenugreek
¼ tsp of asafetida (optional)
¼ tsp of salt

For the Spinach
500gr / 1.1 lb. of fresh spinach, cleaned and the most woody stems removed.
2 x green chili’s
2 x large cloves of garlic
75gr  / 2.5 oz. piece of peeled ginger

Method 

  1. Place the spinach leaves in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove them and plunge them into a bowl of iced water.  This keeps the vibrant green colour.
  2. Put all the curry ingredients (except for the oil) into a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Set aside.
  3. Drain the spinach and put  it in the food processor with the chili’s, garlic and ginger and blitz until smooth.
  4. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and cook the curry sauce for about 3 minutes.  Add the spinach mix and stir through, cooking on a medium heat for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Add the paneer, stir through and check for salt before serving.

Tips and Variations

  • This can be served as a main dish or without the paneer it makes a great side dish to a curry menu.

Spinach and Paneer Curry

Simple Salmon with Spinach Recipe

Simple Salmon with Rice Recipe

Simple Salmon with Spinach Recipe

This has to be one of my simple of all my ‘Keep it Simple’ recipes.  Not only is it super easy, but it’s super quick, tasty and healthy too.

Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 10 minutes

 Serves 4
2 x tbsps olive oil (or, use the oil in which your anchovies are stored)
600gr / 1.3 lb. salmon filets, sliced into bite sized pieces
6 x spring onions (scallions) chopped finely
2 x large cloves of garlic chopped finely
5 or 6 anchovy filets chopped finely
5 x medium tomatoes chopped roughly
½ tsp of dried chili flakes (more if you want more of a kick)
800gr / 1.7 lb. spinach (the frozen kind, defrosted)

Method 

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the spring onions (scallions), garlic, anchovies and chili. Stir and fry off for just under a minute. Let the ingredients brown but not burn.
  3. Add the salmon and allow to cook, turning it over once or twice, but resist the temptation to stir around too much, you will just break up the fish and make it mushy. Get a nice brown colour, so watch your heat – hot enough to brown but turn it down or move around just a little if you notice it is burning.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir through, then add the spinach. If any water has accumulated whilst you have been defrosting the spinach, just use that too.
  5. Stir through and add some salt.
  6. Cook the spinach for about 3 or 4 minutes, it should bubble a little.
  7. Check for seasoning before serving.

Tips and Variations

  •  Serve with rice or pasta.

Simple Salmon with Rice Recipe