Spinach Frittata

We’ve been so busy lately that there hasn’t been a lot of cooking going on. But thanks to our CSAs and the active farmer’s market, the bounty has certainly been flowing in. Tonight we took a breath and cooked some of those greens in our fridge. What’s the answer when you’re looking for a quick, healthy dinner? Frittata, of course.

How many variations of eggs and veggies for dinner must there be? (We’ve already posted a few recipes here and here.) This version is light and airy, due to the ricotta. Greens can be mixed and matched, of course. I’m adding pea shoots to everything lately. In this dish, they really give you something to chew.

6 eggsin the oven
1 garlic scape, cut into small pieces
3 handfuls of spinach
1 handful of pea vines, chopped roughly
1/2 cup of ricotta
1/2 cup of milk
a few leaves each of mint and oregano
olive oil, salt, pepper

  1. Separate the eggs – yolks in one bowl, whites in a second bowl.
  2. In the bowl with the yolks, add ricotta, milk, herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Whisk egg whites vigorously (or gratuitously use your mixer – it is, after all, a quick and lazy dinner). You want them to be light and foamy.
  4. Fold the egg white mixture into the yoke mixture. Turn over gently until they are completely incorporated.
  5. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a heat proof (cast iron) skillet set over medium heat. Cook the greens for about 3 minutes, just until wilted down.
  6. Stir in the egg mixture.
  7. Bake at 35oF for 12-15 minutes.

Notes:

  • This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite quick meals,  puffy corn omelet.
  • I was completely lazy and didn’t even chop anything.  Scapes always seem to fly everywhere when I chop them with a knife, so I just use kitchen scissors to snip them down to the size I want. While I had the scissors, I cut the pea vines and the herbs right over the bowl or skillet. Easy!
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Spinach Pie

Spring must be coming soon! I have local spinach in my fridge! Wahoo! How can I get the most out of it? Make it last? This savory pie is  sturdier than a quiche and less finicky. It’s a very reliable recipe that’s easy to make up.

You need one 9-inch pie crust.

  1. Mix pie crust. Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. baking powder together in a small bowl.
  2. Cut in 8 tbls. butter. Cut it in with a knife and squish with your fingers until it is well mixed (or use a pastry blender.)
  3. Fork in 3-4 tbls. ice water.
  4. Roll out, between parchment or plastic wrap,  and shape into a 9-inch pie pan.

For the filling:

1 medium onion, small dice
2 tbls. butter
2 cups ricotta
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch thyme
3 large eggs
about 8 oz fresh spinach
3 tbls. flour
1 cup cheese (swiss or any mild white)

  1. Saute the onion in the butter until golden brown. Add in the spinach and cook for a brief minute, until wilted. Take off the heat to cool.
  2. Grate the cheese and sprinkle some on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy.
  3. Beat egg and stir in ricotta, salt, thyme, flour, and spinach/onion mixture.
  4. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 375F for 50-55 minutes.

Adapted from King Arthur’s BC.

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

These ravioli don’t have a strong spinach flavor, but the texture of the dough is nice and hearty.  They freeze well for a quick and healthy meal on a busy night. Ravioli are not hard to make, but I would recommend having a two-person team: one to roll and one to fill and shape.

Ravioli, ready for freezingDough:
8.5 ounces flour (about 2 cups)
6 cups fresh spinach
3 eggs
1 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Making the dough-

1. Prepare the spinach. Saute with just about 1 tbls. of water in pan for a few minutes, until wilted. (If you’ve just washed the spinach, shake a little of the water out and then toss in the pan. The leaves will be wet enough.) Place the spinach on a washcloth (that you don’t mind being stained) and squeeze over the sink. Try to get out as much water as possible.
2. Mix flour and salt ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a food processor, add egg, spinach, and oil. Process until smooth.
4. Make a little well in the flour mixture, pour in spinach mixture and mix with a fork until lumpy. Knead with your fingers until it comes together. Knead one additional minute, adding extra flour, if needed. (How will you know if more flour is needed? Dough should not be wet or tacky.)
5. Allow your dough to rest, covered, for 30 minutes. (Be patient. This step allows the flour to get properly moistened and allows you to work with the dough.)

Filling:
2 cups homemade ricotta
3 gloves garlic, finely diced
about 1/4 cup grated parmesan
about 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
salt and white pepper to taste
optional: add fresh herbs to taste

Prepare the filling:
6. Mix all the ingredients in small bowl. If your filling is too dry, mix back in about 1 tbls. of the whey from the cheesemaking. You want your filling to be light and fluffy, but it needs to be able to hold its shape.

Flour the dough before you roll it each time - Roll out the pasta:
7. Divide the pasta dough into 4 equal balls. Cover the balls that you are not using.
8. Shape the first ball into a rectangle. Sprinkle with a little flour every time your dough feels too tacky. Roll your dough through the pasta roller, gradually working your way up to setting six, which will produce a thin but sturdy sheet of pasta. Tip: fold your dough into a rectangle before sending it through the machine.

Shape the ravioli:
9. Cut a long sheet of pasta in half, so that you have two equal pieces. (Another technique is to fold a long sheet in half, gently crease to mark the center, and only fill one side. The second half of the dough becomes the top and ‘closes over’ the ravioli filling.)
10. Drop scant tablespoons of pasta about 1 inch apart on the dough, leaving an equal amount of space aDraw a line of water between each ravioli with your finger - round all four edges.
11. Dip one finger (or pastry brush) into water and run a line of water around the four edges and between each ravioli. Your goal is to moisten. Don’t get it too wet!
12. Lay the second pasta sheet over top of the filling. Work from left to right, gently pressing down between the ravioli as Seal the ravioli carefully - you go. You may need to stretch the last part of the dough over the filling.  Go back and seal the top and sides of each ravioli. Try not to trap any air next to the filling (or your ravioli may burst.)
13. Use a sealer/cutter pastry tool to seal and cut. (This tool is so worth the few dollars of its cost. But, alternatively, you can slice with a knife and seal by hand. I used to press each side shut with a fork and that worked well, though was time consuming.)

Save those babies for later:
14. Lay the ravioli on a floured sheet pan and place in the freezer for about a half hour. After this, they can be placed in a big freezer bag and won’t stick to each other.

Eat!
15.  From the freezer, boil in gently boiling water for five minutes. (Cook fresh raviloi 3-4 minutes.)