Friday, 14 May 2010

Seasonal Recipe of the Week

Spinach Filo Parcels




with Garlic, Pine Nuts, Nutmeg and Lemon



Young tender spinach leaves are great in salads, especially with chopped, smoked bacon and a warm poached egg. It is the perfect leaf for wilting with warm dressings, can be added to curries for the last minute or two of cooking and is delicious in Italian dishes. It also goes particularly well with goat's cheese.

The following recipe is something a bit different and would make a great starter, a light lunch, or fabulous picnic food.

700g of spinach looks like an awful lot but spinach loses half it's weight in cooking.

For the filo parcels

Ingredients

700g fresh spinach, washed and stalks removed
75g unsalted butter
50g pine nuts, toasted
1 clove garlic, crushed
12x10cm squares of Filo pastry
50g butter, melted
salt and freshly ground pepper
1tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2tsp lemon juice
2 tsp sesame seeds
Rosemary leaves to garnish

Method

Pat the spinach dry with kitchen paper. Melt the butter in a deep pan with the garlic, over a low heat, then add the spinach. Cover and cook over a moderate heat for 3 minutes until soft and wilted.

Toast the pine nuts under a grill for around 3-4 minutes until golden. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent them burning.

Brush 3 squares of filo pastry with melted butter and pile on top of each other to form a star shape.

Season the spinach with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the lemon juice. Place a heaped spoonful of spinach in the centre of the pastry star and sprinkle on a few toasted pine nuts.

Bring the corners of the pastry up over the filling and scrunch to make a parcel. Repeat to make another three parcels. Place on a lightly greased baking tray. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Before baking, brush the filo parcels with melted butter and sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/gas6 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  Garnish with Rosemary leaves and serve at once.

Tip
For a more substantial lunch, add some crumbled goat's cheese to the parcels and serve with a crisp green dressed salad.

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