Entries in spinach (20)


coddled eggs with wild mushrooms and rosti

foxgate put me in a grumpy mood. thankfully i had some wild mushrooms, courtesy of foodari, and a plan to try another way of cooking eggs. coddling.

friends rave about this and, having tried my hand at fried eggs i wanted to try something a bit more complex. defining what a coddled egg is seems to contentious – the fact that the eggs are lightly cooked is agreed upon, beyond that enters the variety.

for me it involved greasing a ramekin (or coddler if you have one) with butter, adding eggs (2 each as one looked lonely) plus a tablespoon or so of cream. oh, and i put a slice of taleggio at the bottom of the ramekin for a bit of extra richness. these were then placed in a bain marie and put in the oven at 180c for 15-18 minutes.

while the eggs were cooking i had some rosti on the stove – prepare your mix before you do the eggs as the rosti will take at least as long as the eggs. this was a mix of grated potatoes, a grated shallot and seasoning. i cooked this over a gentle heat in a little melted butter, needing c10-15 minutes on each side – you flip it over when the potatoes on top start to become translucent and glossy (this would be the perfect time to put your eggs into a pre-heated oven).

the spinach was wilted into some wild mushrooms that were also cooked in butter. seasoning plus grated nutmeg finished them off to perfection.

it’s a quite a labour-intensive breakfast but good for getting into the weekend mood. the eggs were a bit rich for me and i was really pleased to have the rosti and vegetables to balance them out. it was also great to remember how easy rosti is and that i should make it more often.


chilli tomatoes with spinach couscous, mozzarella and basil oil

somehow i ended up with 500g of fresh basil earlier in the week – nine bunches, enough to fill a supermarket carrier bag! trying to work out how to use it was fun. you already know i used some to make a lemon & basil syrup which i added to cava.

basil oil is an old favourite and was an obvious choice - an easy one too: blitz together fresh basil, good olive oil, a little crushed garlic and some salt & pepper (it will last in the fridge 7-10 days).

i drizzled this over a couscous, mograbiah and spinach salad which was topped with caramelised cinnamon onions, harissa-roasted tomatoes and torn mozzarella (it was based on this recipe, with the addition of mograbiah (a type of large couscous, you can see a few of the balls at the front of the picture) to the couscous and mozzarella used in place of the labneh).

i shared this with friends, eating it sitting outside on the grass, as a light lunch with some green salad and warm bread. it would also be perfect as an accompaniment to a bbq.


red pepper and chorizo paella

moro's chorizo and spinach paella is an old favourite and perfect if you need a "meat hit" after an inadvertent week of vegetarian meals. i normally follow the recipe to the letter (well, not quite, it calls for the addition of pork fillet which i don't bother with, preferring to increase the chorizo content) but this weekend i made a change.

i used a red pepper in place of the specified green pepper. a small change but one that really affected the dish, and for the better i think. it was much sweeter and richer in flavour which balanced really well with the spiciness that came from the picante chorizo and picante smoked paprika that i used (the recipe calls for mild chorizo and sweet paprika but i like the chilli kick that picante versions add).

a small change can be a really lovely way to rediscover something old and familiar.


green pancakes with lime butter


there is a new ottolenghi cookery book out and inevitably i’m thinking about tracking it down given how much i like their first one. this is not good as i still have a few recently purchased cookery books which i’ve not cooked from and i’d on a book-buying-ban until i remedy this. 

thankfully, the recipes, which are all vegetarian, include a lot from the column which yotam ottolenghi writes for the guardian, which means that a taster of things to come was published a couple of weeks ago so i’m able to put off a purchase.

several of the recipes caught my eye, including the puy lentil galettes, black pepper tofu and mee goreng. however, i decided to start with the green pancakes with lime butter.

david and i had these for brunch, polishing off a full batch which should have served three to four. it was in a good cause – the pancakes are delicious, i adored the lime butter and they kept me going all day. give them a try this weekend…

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suprisingly subtle

the fishcakes which i made with the highland red potatoes are definitely pink but not off-puttingly so. in fact, with the green of the spinach i think they look quite pretty. the taste is exactly the same as if i'd used a non-coloured potato.