Yes, we’re cooking again with spinach this week! Did you make our spinach and rice stew last week? This week we felt it’s time we did something less traditional. Recipe books call these little thingies that we are making this week gnocchi or dumplings. We are not sure which word we prefer, but they do look like golf balls, hence the name on the title.

We are using fresh spinach from the market and our two favourite cheeses. Manouri, a creamy semi-hard white cheese and kefalotyri, a more piquant yellow cheese. Both are made from goats’ and sheep’s milk, from two small producers in Greece. We love them both equally. Manouri adds silkiness to the balls and kefalotyri adds the necessary saltiness.

For two people you will need:

400g of spinach (leaves only)
100g manouri cheese, grated
50g kefalotyri cheese, grated
2 egg yolks
60g all-purpose flour
black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil (to serve)

Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, running the leaves under cold water. Squeeze the spinach with your hands, so that all the water is removed. You should be left with a couple of handfuls of spinach. Finely chop. Squeeze again to remove any excess water.

Place your spinach in a large bowl. Add the manouri cheese and the kefalotyri. Using a fork mix all ingredients together. In a separate bowl break the egg yolks. Add them to the spinach-cheese mixture and stir well. Slowly add the flour. You should have a slightly sticky dough. Add black pepper to taste.

Place it in the fridge for an hour. It will become firmer.

In the meantime, set up for cooking: Place a large pot with salted water over medium high heat and bring to the boil.

Once the dough is cold and firm, using your hands shape round balls. In batches, drop them in the boiling water but be careful not to overcroud the pot. The balls will rise to the surface. Once they do, let them swirl there for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove from the pot.

Serve warm, with extra virgin olive oil and more black pepper.

 

 


Yes, it’s spring! After our weeks of asparagus love (did you make our asparagus frittata? How about the bulgur wheat salad?) we were very tempted to cook again with asparagus. But you know, spring has so many other beautiful vegetables. So this week we decided to make a delicious spinach and rice stew! Spanakoryzo, as we call it in Greece, is the simplest yet the most delicious dish. I think the reason is that, as with most Greek recipes, very few ingredients come together, and each shines.

In spanakoryzo, you can taste how the lightly metallic taste of spinach mellows in slow cooking. We paired it with sweet spring onions and leeks (yes, we love it when spring vegetables all come together). In the end, we put loads of dill and squeezed plenty of lemon juice. The aniseed and lemon notes of dill pair perfectly with the warm stew and the lemon brings the sun into your dish.

We used our carolina rice. This is the one we use for our rice puddings. As the rice absorbs all the fragrant juices from the vegetables, its high starch content gives the spanakoryzo a creamier texture.

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
5 spring onions
1 medium leek
1 large onion
1 kilo fresh spinach
200g Carolina rice
500ml water
1 large bunch of dill, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
salt

Finely chop the spring onions, leek and onion. Finely chop your spinach.

In a large shallow pot, pour the olive oil and over medium low heat gently fry the spring onions, leek and onion until translucent.

Add the spinach and stir until half in volume.

Add the rice and stir until it’s well mixed in. Soon after pour in the water. Stir and season with salt.

Let your stew simmer for 20-30min or until the rice is cooked through.

Turn off the heat, add the dill and lemon juice. Serve with more lemon juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil.


You know how all of us support no-waste cooking. There are many ways to incorporate leftovers in your meals. Yes, leftovers can be tricky sometimes. But not if you have a few clever ideas up your sleeve.

In the past, we have used our intense truffle butter to transform leftover mash potatoes or our aromatic walnut oil to roast various leftover veg and chickpeas.

This week we have a new idea for you! Make a tart. Tarts and pies are good that way. You see, if you make say a spinach pie, you can use whatever greens you have available, wilted or not. If you make a tart, you can use it as your basis for whatever ingredients you have laying around in your fridge.

We took the idea from Bon Appetit, which is the writer’s favourite cooking magazine. So for this tart we used puff pastry (but you can make your own if you want, and a feta cheese/yogurt base. Then you can really use whatever ingredients you have around. For example, I had a few sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes that we did not use at our last cooking class and wine tasting. These keep perfectly in the fridge covered in olive oil. But the time comes when one wants to clear their fridge. Enter tart idea.

 

Serves 4 as main:

1 sheet of puff pastry (approx. 300g)
100g whole milk
150g feta cheese
150g Greek yogurt
100g sun-dried tomatoes
100g marinated artichokes

Preheat your oven at 180C.

In a small pot and over medium-low heat, warm up your milk. Crumble the feta cheese in the pot and stir well until feta cheese melts and there are no lumps. Remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit. Fold in the yogurt and stir until well combined.

Roll out your puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet. You can use greaseproof paper, or make sure to oil the baking sheet so that your tart doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry across all of its surface. Put the puff pastry in the oven and bake for 5 min, until light golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.

Spread the feta/yogurt mixture on the puff pastry, leaving a few cm on each side. Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes all around. Drizzle some of their oil if you wish.

Place back in the oven and bake for 20-25 min, until the puff pastry is golden. Now, this is what we call cooking with leftovers!