It’s been a busy week for me. Even though Soeren was away the whole week I had a few photo and writing assignments to complete and used up the “free” time to finish these off. At work things are busy too. As the new semester has started there are a couple of workshops and seminars I am planning for the new PHD students. After the long summer break it’s good to get things cranking again.
I have started to work-out more regularly again and trying to get back to a more relaxed routine. It’s hard to admit but the fall out from the disruptive moving plans this summer are still noticeable. But we are ploughing ahead with optimism and forging new plans.
In the kitchen things have been more or less quick light meals as both Tom and I are planning ahead for the Holidays and the “fattening” season. So it’s been lean meat and fish with lots of vegetables, stir-frys and light dishes for us. Besides for the little indulgence here and there we have been really good.
What I really love are dishes that use simple everyday ingredients prepared in a not everyday way. Like these timbales for example. I had spinach and ricotta cheese left over from the previous Daring Bakers’ challenge and wanted to use them in a slightly different way. Both spinach and ricotta pair so well with each other.
Baked ricotta is something I make on and off and usually drizzle a bit of honey or maple syrup, which makes a great spread or dip for parties. A recipe I had seen in Maxine Clark’s al forno (sent to me all the way from Canada by my favorite Cream Puff) brought me to the idea for the savory variation. I really liked the recipe as it uses simple ingredients to make such a spectacular tasting dish. The recipe below is an adaptation of the recipe from the book.
Baked Ricotta Spinach Kalamata Olive and Sun-dried Tomato Timbales
Printable version of recipe here.
230g fresh baby spinach leaves, stalks cut and washed
450g ricotta cheese, drained
10 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
small handful of Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons basil and oregano, chopped
pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
melted butter for forms
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Generously butter 6 timbale or ramekin forms and spread one sun-dried tomato on the bottom of each form, then thinly slice the remaining. Set aside..
- Place the spinach leaves in a saucepan while they are still wet. Cook the leaves until they wilt then quickly plunge them into ice cold water. Drain the leaves, squeezing with your hands to make sure all excess water has been extracted. Gently loosen the leaves.
- Using a wooden spoon push the ricotta cheese through a fine-mesh sieve. This makes the ricotta nice and fluffy giving the timbales a perfect texture. Whisk in the eggs, then lightly stir in the drained spinach, remaining tomatoes, olives and herbs. Season with sea salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into the prepared forms, leveling the tops with the spoon.
- Place the forms on a baking tray and bake in the oven for approx. 20 minutes. The timbales should be almost set and a little puffy. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then invert the molds onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Food Guide Tips:
Add a side of fresh pasta and you have a complete vegetarian meal. For non- vegetarians try the timbales with fish like this fried fish Provencal or chicken, such as this Italian roasted chicken or veal, for example this Veal Vilanese.
These make a great dinner party starter or side as you can prepare them ahead of time and can serve them at room temperature.
While Soeren enjoyed the timbales with an additional side of pasta we had this with some steamed herbed fish. The flavor profile of spinach, ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes and olives is simply exceptional and paired with the roasted tomato sauce it was just wow!
The kitchen will be closed this weekend as we’re off for a bit of r & r (rest and relaxation) and someone else will be doing the cooking. Hope you all have plenty of rest and relaxation this weekend too. To all my Indian readers I wish you a very happy and grand Diwali weekend! See you on the other side!
HugsYou might like these sides from WFLH:
|Red Cabbage with Pomegranate Seeds||Ricotta Vegetable Pot Pies||Szechwan Pepper and Ginger Mixed Sprouts|
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
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