Tag Archives: picnic

Spanokopitta sausage rolls

9 Jul

2013-07-06 18.55.12

At the weekend, my mum asked me to bake some vegetarian sausage rolls for a family picnic. Normally I’d wrap some veggie sausages in puff pastry and get on with my day but on this occasion I was the only vegetarian there, and I wanted to make something the omnivores would enjoy as much as I would. I decided to make something based on my favourite Greek dish, spanokopitta (basically an AMAZING spinach and feta filo pie).

So here’s what I came up with. They went down really well, even with the meat-eaters. The children didn’t really like them (my two-year-old niece ate half of one and politely shoved the rest in my mouth); perhaps a milder, less freaky cheese would make them more child-friendly.

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Recipe (makes 24 mini rolls)

  • 500g puff pastry
  • 300g frozen spinach, defrosted, preferably the whole-leaf stuff
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted
  • Two eggs (one for the filling and the other to use as eggwash)
  • One clove of garlic, mashed to a pulp, or a handful of finely chopped garlic scapes
  • A good grinding of black pepper and nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Roll the pastry out into two long rectangles, roughly 20cm x 40cm each, about 0.25cm thick.

Mash the drained feta with one of the eggs, then add the garlic, pepper, nutmeg, and pine nuts.

Drain the spinach in a sieve, and press as much of the water out of it as you can. Stir it into the feta mixture. It should be fairly dry, otherwise the pastry will end up soggy and the filling will spill out of the edges.

Spread half the filling down the middle of one of the sheets of pastry. Brush some beaten egg along one of the edges. Roll the sheet of pastry into one long sausage, ending on the side that you brushed with egg. Cut into 12 mini sausage rolls and place them onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the filling and the second sheet of pastry. Brush all of the sausage rolls with beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed up and golden. Enjoy hot or cold.

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Pesto pasta salad

19 May

I’m pretty good at making the effort to make a packed lunch to take to work, usually some salad or home-made soup. But no matter how disciplined you are, there will be some days when you find that (a) you don’t have the time (b) you’ve run out of food at home, or (c) a certain person has taken your lunchbox to work and accidentally left it there. I recently found myself in this position and decided to pop into the shop on the way to work to buy a nice healthy salad. The vegetarian choice wasn’t great that day and I ended up with this:

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It filled a hole, but it was a bit disappointing. It looked really good but tasted bland, didn’t have enough vegetables in it to justify calling it a salad and it was coated in an unhealthy slick some kind of green oil that claimed to be pesto dressing. I was left feeling I could have done a much better job of it myself.

So here is my version: healthier, tastier, cheaper, and not swimming in oil (recipe below).

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Serves 1

  • 75-100g wholewheat pasta (dry weight)
  • A good dollop of vegetarian or vegan pesto (good quality shop bought, or home-made)
  • A handful of something green and leafy, sliced (the shop version used spinach, I used chard, but anything green would be great)
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and leave to cool.

Steam the green veggies, leave to cool.

Combine the pasta, greens and pesto. Top with the tomatoes and pine nuts.

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