Monday, March 31, 2014

Autumn harvest dinner: spinach roulade recipe

Wow what a week for tackling culinary fears! First I cooked artichokes and they were divine.

Now I have conquered the savoury roulade.
I have always wanted to make one, but they sound so complicated. I not only managed to turn out a restaurant quality meal, I did it almost completely from my garden produce. My chickens are moulting and off the lay, and I don't have a cow for cheese or cream but everything else I grew and harvested. This was such a wonderful celebration of home grown produce!

Last week I was rummaging around in a thrift shop or two. I bought a couple of pillow cases and an old recipe book. Apologies to all celebrity chefs of great fame: I prefer old cook books. My family and colleagues at work are well aware of how much I love my 1977 Women's Weekly Biscuit and Slice cookbook. The recipes never fail and are always wonderful.  This time, I found the 1986, Rose Elliot "The new vegetarian cookbook". With a mushroom filled spinach roulade recipe.

I trusted the recipe to work out and yes the instructions were spot on. I improvised a little on ingredients, the actual how to worked superbly.

Here is the recipe paraphrased and with my own version of the ingredients based on what I had in my garden today.

And yes they are enormous oyster mushrooms I grew!

Ingredients for roulade
fresh greens: spinach, silverbeet, kale
salt and pepper
4 eggs, separated
grated Parmesan

Ingredients for filling
mushrooms, diced
celery, sliced
sage, sliced
artichoke heart, chopped
300 ml sour cream
salt, pepper and nutmeg

Instructions for Roulade
Prepare a Swiss roll tin with baking paper. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Wash, trim and chop greens. Dry cook in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes. Take greens off heat, add a dollop of butter, egg yokes and seasoning. Stir well, be careful not to cook the egg.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the greens.
Pour the mix into the pan and bake for 10-15 mins.

Instructions for filling
Heat butter in a pan and toss in the chopped mushrooms and herbs.  Cook until they release their juices and brown a little. Add sour cream and seasonings. Heat gently to warm through. Take off the heat and allow to thicken.

Putting it all together
Turn the oven down to low.
Place a fresh piece of baking paper on the bench and sprinkle a little more Parmesan across it.
Take the roulade from the oven and gently slide it off the tray onto the prepared paper. Lightly press down into the Parmesan.
Spread the filling evenly across the roll, leaving a gap of about 5cm from the far edge.
Roll the roulade up a little way at the filled edge and squeeze to ensure tight. Keep rolling slowly and firmly pulling the paper away as you go.  Stop and tuck in any filling squeezing out until you get to the end. Cover with paper and gently squeeze the roulade to make sure it has rolled well and is firm. Take away the top piece of paper. Replace on the tray and put back into the oven for a little while to make sure it is warmed through.

That's it!

Slice and serve warm with a fresh salad, baby potatoes or whatever you have growing.

What's next? I feel absolutely ready to tackle anything with the produce I've grown!

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