Results tagged “spinach”

Wild rice, spinach and broad bean salad

This recipe is adapted from ‘Everyday & Sunday recipes from Riverford Farm’ by Jane Baxter and Guy Watson, which is a great cookbook (not least because it contains five of my recipes!).  It is the perfect salad for late spring and early summer, when spinach and broad beans are in season. 

The pomegranate molasses really makes the dish.  Look for it in Middle Eastern and Turkish food shops.  It should be just reduced pure pomegranate juice with nothing added - intensely sweet and sour at the same time, a bit like aged balsamic vinegar.

Pappardelle with spinach, Gorgonzola and walnuts

Spinach, Gorgonzola and walnuts are a classic combination.  Feel free to use any shape of pasta!


Spinach and cheese pie

greece, turkey
We found ıspanaklı ve peynirli börek to be as common in Turkey as spanakotyropita is in Greece, and made a point of sampling as many as humanly possible, purely in the name of research of course.  They are essentially the same dish - a savoury pie made of multiple layers of ultra-thin pastry with a spinach and cheese filling.  Sometimes it’s just spinach, or just cheese, but I like it with both. 

Smborek0001.jpgThey come in various shapes and sizes, depending on which country, region, town, village, bakery or home you’re in, and with different fillings.  The form here is nice and simple and works with the packets of filo dough we can find in shops in the UK.  I have made the filling purposefully generous in quantity and moist in consistency as I don’t like my börek dry.  The recipe is loosely based on two very different versions I had the opportunity to make with chefs in Turkey and Greece - Engin Akin in Istanbul and Dimitris Mantsios in Naoussa.

Nettle bake

Erhan Şeker is a talented Turkish chef who makes great use of wild greens and herbs.  He cooks all sorts of weird and wonderful leaves, shoots and tendrils, most of which I wouldn’t know how to find back at home in the UK.  But one thing we can definitely find at home is stinging nettles.  In many areas they’re abundant.  And of course they’re free, and very good for you.  

Smnettlebake0001.JPGThis dish, called ‘çırpma’ in Turkish (meaning ‘mixed’, as I guess you could mix up all sorts of greens in here if you wanted, wild or otherwise), was expertly made for us in Erhan’s kitchen by his assistant Nesrin, using Erhan’s homemade goat ricotta. It’s the kind of comfort food that feels like it should be bad for you it’s so satisfying, but is actually incredibly good for you.  Wild greens are more nutritious than cultivated ones as they’re higher in antioxidants and other goodies that the plants must have plenty of in order to defend themselves from pests.

As you will see, the ingredient quantities in the recipe need some refining, so let me know how it goes if you make it.


Culinary Anthropologist