Cooking for your vegetarian guests has come a long way in the last few years. Creative and tasty non-meat dishes can wow all of your guests.
When I first wrote this recipe for my newspaper column 12 years ago Spinach Roulade was certainly not common at all. But if a recipe is a good one, then it stands the test of time.
Don’t be scared by the name…..just think of a savoury swiss roll made of spinach and filled with cream cheese & mushrooms. It’s a summertime dish you serve just warm otherwise the cream cheese will run out.
300g fresh baby spinach leaves well washed
I packet of dried porcini mushrooms
250 grams Cream cheese
227grams of Chestnut mushrooms washed & sliced)
1-2 cloves of garlic (peeled but don’t chop)
6 large organic eggs (carefully separate yolks from whites)
30grams melted butter
pinch of plain flour
1 swiss roll pan (approx 9 inch x 13)
- Reconstitute the porcini mushrooms with boiling water in a small bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes before going to the next step.
- Gently fry the sliced chestnut mushrooms in half the melted butter together with the garlic. When golden brown add the porcini mushrooms and the water you’ve soaked them in and continue to cook on a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated, then remove from the heat and cool, then refrigerate.
- Wilt the spinach in a stainless steel saucepan (there should be enough moisture from washing the spinach to make adding any additional water unnecessary).
- After wilting for a minute or two, remove from the heat, then drain well pressing out the water, season with salt, pepper & allow to cool.
5. Brush the swiss roll tin well with melted butter then line with baking parchment, then brush again with butter and dust with plain flour.
6. Put cold spinach in a food processor and chop well.
7. Whisk egg yolks until they turn pale yellow & stiff, then fold into chopped spinach.
8. In a separate clean bowl whisk the egg whites into a stiff “meringue”, then gently fold into the mix.
9. Spread the mix onto the lined swiss roll tin evenly using a palette knife.
10. Bake in a hot oven (gas mark 6) for about 8-12 minutes until firm to the touch but not brown.
11. Turn cooled roulade out onto a clean tea towel, gently removing the paper then gently turn over the roulade again.
12. Pick out the garlic cloves from the cold mushroom mix then stir into the cream cheese and season if necessary with salt & pepper.
13. Spread the cream cheese mix onto the roulade gently making it as even as possible.
14. Roll up the roulade, starting fairly tightly and keep an even thickness, then wrap in the tea towel. Let the roulade “set” for one hour before slicing.
15. Cut 2 one inch slices and gently warm & serve with a tomato & basil sauce.
Tomato & Basil sauce
I never understand why more people don’t make their own tomato sauce because it is very easy to make and tastes do much better than horrible jar sauces that are full of salt, sugar and lots of E numbers.
1 x 400-gram tins of tomatoes
2 large whole cloves of garlic
250g vine ripe tomatoes (chopped and roughly deseeded)
250ml tomato passata
2 Tbsp of Extra virgin olive oil
1 small-medium onion finely diced
1 Tbsp finely sliced basil leaves
- Heat one Tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan and saute the onions until they are soft.
- Turn the heat down low and add the fresh tomatoes and the whole cloves of garlic, stirring from time to time.
- When the tomatoes are half cooked add the tinned tomatoes and passata to the sauce and allow to simmer to reduce for 20 minutes stirring often.
- Season the sauce with sea salt and black pepper and taste. The sauce should have a natural sweetness from the reducing it down (not from added sugar), but still have a fresh from the garden taste.
- Fish out the cloves of garlic and squash them into a puree and put back onto the sauce.
- Pour the sauce in your food processor and use the pulse switch to puree the sauce to make it finer. It is important to just use the pulse switch so as to keep the tomato sauce looking a vibrate red.
- Return the sauce to the saucepan and add the basil and taste the sauce again for balance.
- Finally, add the remaining olive oil and remove from the heat until you are ready to serve.
For more information on making tomato sauce see my Tip of the Week post.
All recipes unless stated are the copyright property © Kevin Ashton