Category Archives: Spinach

Butternut squash, spinach and ricotta lasagne

lasagne1

The spinach typically bolted in the dry heat of the summer (which now happens around May – June time). But we decided to sow another row around late July – August, just in time for the torrential downpours that signal that period of the year that the schools still oddly call the ‘summer holidays’.

Spinach is very happy in wet weather, so it grew much better this time. Annoyingly though, it was growing right in the middle of a bed I wanted to use for next years garlic. So just at the point it was growing lush and strong, I pulled it all out. The carrier bag I fished out of the shed was too small to hold it all and I had to go back and find a bigger bag.

I made a potato and spinach curry with the first bunch, and then I stripped off the best leaves from the rest, washed it thoroughly and squashed it all into a bag for the freezer. This seems to have worked well. I wasn’t sure whether to lightly cook it first, but in the end I decided to freeze it fresh, and then I just had to slice a chunk off with a knife and cook in down in a pan in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • a handful of spinach
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tub of ricotta cheese (250g)
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten.
  • lasagne sheets
  • creme fraiche or cream (might not be needed).
  1. Firstly puree the squash by peeling, de-seeding and chopping the squash, placing it all in a roasting pan with the garlic cloves, drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for around 30 mins. Take out the garlic cloves and squeeze out the garlic, then tip it all into a food processor with a splash of milk and a pinch of nutmeg, half the ricotta cheese and whizz until smooth.
  2. Cook the spinach lightly until wilted, allow to cool and then chop. Mix with the remaining ricotta cheese, the egg and a little more nutmeg.
  3. Take a baking dish and cover the bottom with a layer of the squash puree. Add a grating of parmesan cheese, then a layer of lasagne sheets and finally a covering of the spinach and ricotta mixture. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a spinach and ricotta layer. If there isn’t enough of this for the final topping, mix in a spoonful of creme fraiche or cream to make it go further. Finish with another grating of parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake in a moderate oven for around 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

lasagne2

Lamb and spinach curry

Lamb and spinach curry

John made this for us on Saturday night using some of our allotment grown spinach, onions and garlic. It’s not too hot, nice and fresh.

Source: an adaptation of this recipe from Olive magazine.

Ingredients

  • Ginger a small chunk, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped
  • Onions, 2 roughly chopped
  • Fresh Red chilli 1, chopped
  • Ground turmeric, 1 tsp
  • Garam marsala, 1tsp
  • Ground cumin, 1 tbsp
  • Ground coriander, 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped lamb, 600g
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water
  • spinach 100g bag, chopped
  • Fresh or frozen peas 50g
  • Fresh coriander, half a bunch
  • Dash of Worcester sauce

Method

  1. Brown the meat well in a frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil and then put to one side.
  2. Chop the ginger, garlic, chilli and onions, add these to the pan with some additional oil and fry gently for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the browned meat and all the spices. Stir in the tomatoes, and cup of water, then bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add the spinach and peas and a dash of Worcester sauce then cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander.
  7. Serve with rice or nan bread.

Lamb and spinach curry2 spinach on plot

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