Friday, October 16, 2009

Baked Ricotta Spinach Kalamata Olive and Sun-dried Tomato Timbales

Ricotta Spinach Timbales (02) by MeetaK 

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.

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. 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..

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the prepared forms, leveling the tops with the spoon.

  5. 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.
The Food Guide_1

 

 Food Guide Tips:

- Spinach – how healthy is it really?
- Selecting and storing tomatoes

 

 

notepaper2 Kopie

 

We love these timbales with an aromatic tomato sauce, like my roasted tomato sauce or a even tangy sun-dried tomato and tamarind chutney.

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.

 

 

Verdict

 Ricotta Spinach Timbales (01) by MeetaK

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!

Hugs

You might like these sides from WFLH:

Red Cabbage with Pomegranate Seeds Ricotta Vegetable Pot Pies Szechwan Pepper and Ginger Mixed Sprouts

 DTtip6 

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

Nursing: A Journey to a Destination written by Hilda

 

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

29 comments :

  1. That looks so yummy!! I love spinach delicacies.

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  2. Oh I nearly passed out when I clicked on your post! Wow...absolutely delicious...some of my most favorite flavours and foods combined! This is gorgeous! I am trying this for sure!

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  3. Lovely photo Meeta & I'm a sucker for baked cheese! The sun-dreid tomato timbales look great! Cheers.

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  4. Those are some vibrant colors! I am in for anything sun dried tomatoes.

    Rest & Relax & sending over warm Deepawali wishes to you & family!

    Hugs
    Soma

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  5. what a gorgeous and flavourful dish! beautiful to look at as well, meeta! :D i would love this as a starter, with the pasta and all. haha :) greedy me. x

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  6. Wow, how can anyone resist this wonderful dish. Love the pics.

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  7. I love ricotta cheese in dishes like this. Just beautiful!

    PS: you know the words 'seminar' and 'PhD' kinda scare me at the moment :P

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  8. Ricotta and spinach are such great go togethers...and the baked timbale idea is fab! Thanks for the tip about seiving the cheese. I'm going to try these next week...thanks for the recipe!
    Hope you have a fine R & R.

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  9. Wow, this sounds absolutely delicious.t

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  10. So many great flavours packed into one tasty looking meal!

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  11. Great way to use the leftovers from the Bakers challenge.

    Paz

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  12. I've never had good luck with timbales so I've stopped making them. But this one looks so delicious that I just might try again. I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

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  13. I like the idea of serving this with pasta! looks so good! Happy diwali :)

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  14. What a nice presentation. Just beautiful and it sounds delicious.

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  15. I love this kind of dish... how could I resist?

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  16. I really have to get back into exercise and healthy eating too... It's been too long! I love this dish and really great combination of flavors!

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  17. Wishing you a very happy Diwali Meeta!

    Miri

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  18. They sound fab and look so inviting with their red, green and white colours. Very Italian.

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  19. thank you everyone for all your comments. it's a great party dish for sure and can be varied with several other ingredients too!

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  20. Hi Meeta:
    I have been a regular reader of your blog. Thought I will delurk to let you know that you are featured on MSN on the list of best food blogs to visit. I love reading your blog and one of these days I might venture out and try one your dishes.(am a foodie but not a great cook!!)
    http://www.delish.com/food/best-of-food-blogs-5

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  21. Meeta, this dish dances. The Mediterrean flavours you chose arevery compatible and the ricotta is a good choice of cheese...riding shot-gun.

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  22. I just found your blog and love it! I'm looking forward to reading more!

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  23. wow this is gorgeous and full of wonderful flavours!

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  24. Truly a healthy dish but a delicious one, too. You inspire in both! I love this dish! Spinach-ricotta with a luscious tomato sauce is a combination made in heaven.

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  25. Mmm, this looks good. Love those sun-dried tomatoes!

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  26. Wow, looks great. I like the photo. This would be great for a party.

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  27. This looks so delicious. It is really mouthwatering! Your photography is so great on this site.

    Looking forward to reading more from you.

    /Chitra/

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  28. Woow looks so good... love this food . I'll go and eat some now

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta