Seasonal local food recipe No.283 – Courgette and spinach tian

I don’t know where the original recipe for this dish came from but it tastes good.  The quantities quoted are what I used tonight.  I served it with carrots though a salad would also be good.  It is also delicious cold.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
3 medium courgettes, chopped into small chunks
200 g spinach, shredded
50 g rice, cooked
100g cheddar cheese, grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion.  Once the onion is starting to go translucent add the chopped courgette and cook until the courgette has softened.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the rice, cheddar cheese, pepper and eggs.  Mix well before pouring into a greased, shallow oven proof dish.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/ Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Nigel Slater’s spiced swede or turnips with spinach


An extremely versatile vegetarian dish that uses up the last of the winter season’s swede in this week’s veg boxes. You can use turnips or swede or a mixture of both. The same goes for spinach and chard.

As Nigel says: “This gently fragrant dish works well with potatoes and parsnips, too. You could use another leaf, perhaps chard or kale.” It comes from his Mid-week dinner feature in The Guardian.

Serves: 6
Preparation/cooking time: 20 minutes


1kg mixed turnips and/or swede
1 onion, finely chopped
knob of butter
1 tsp oil
1 tsp each of cumin seeds, ground turmeric and garam masala
200g spinach or chard
yogurt and coriander leaves, to serve

Peel turnips and swede and cut them into large pieces. Cook the turnip and swede either in boiling, lightly salted water, or in a steamer, until tender.

In a shallow pan, fry a peeled and roughly chopped onion in a little butter and oil until soft and golden, then add the cumin seeds, ground turmeric and garam masala. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes at a moderate heat until all is fragrant.

Wash and remove any tough stalks from 200g of spinach or chard. Place a nonstick, shallow pan over a moderate heat, add the wet spinach and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the spinach cook in its own steam for about three minutes, until wilted, then drain and gently press the water from it.

Add the drained turnips and swedes to the onions and continue cooking until they are lightly golden and have soaked up some of the flavour for the spices. Season with a little salt. Fold the spinach into the spiced turnips and swede and serve, if you wish, with a trickle of yogurt and a few coriander leaves. Serves 4.

Nigel’s trick: “Steam your spinach rather than boiling it. The best way I have found is to wash the leaves and, while they are still very wet, put them in a shallow pan to which you have a tight-fitting lid. Place over a moderately high heat, cover and let the spinach cook for a minute or two in its own steam. Lift the lid, turn the leaves with a pair of tongs or a draining spoon, then cook them for a minute more. I find this gives a better result than boiling.”

Seasonal local food recipe No.225 – Spinach with Indian cheese

This is from Quick Vegetarian Curries by Mridula Baljekar.  It is a favourite of mine when we have friends round for a curry.  If you can’t get hold of Indian paneer it is just as good made with halloumi cheese.

Photo: Heath Bass

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tbs sunflower oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, finely chopped
2.5cm cube root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder
150g spinach, finely chopped
300ml water
250g paneer, cut into 1cm cubes
175g cooked potatoes cut into 2.5cm cubes (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala

Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat, add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute, then add the onion and fry for 5-6 minutes until softened.  Add the ginger, ground coriander and cumin, cook for 1 minute then add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the turmeric, paprika and chilli powder and cook for 30 seconds before adding the spinach and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add half the water and cook for 3 minutes or until the water dries up, tossing and turning the ingredients constantly.  Add the paneer, potatoes if using and remaining water, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Sprinkle on the garam masala and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.224 – Cannelloni stuffed with spinach and almonds

This is from Cordon Vert by Colin Spencer and has been a favourite for nearly 30 years!  It’s a bit fiddly but well worth the effort. If you can’t get canneloni you could use lasagne sheets or use the filling to make a lasagne.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

12-16 cannelloni tubes
900g leaf spinach
50 g butter
115g ground almonds
2 tbs double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g grated gruyere cheese
300 ml single cream
50g grated parmesan cheese


Cook the pasta in boiling water until done.  Remove from the heat, drain then put the cooked pasta into a bowl of cold water with a little oil in it to keep it separate.  Remove the stalks from the spinach and discard.  Cook the spinach in half the butter over a low heat.  The spinach should shrink to less than half its bulk in about 5-6 minutes.  Cool and drain off the excess liquid.

Put the cooked spinach in a bowl and chop with a wooden spoon.  Add the almonds, remaining butter, double cream, gruyere cheese, season to taste and mix well.

Drain the canneloni, then taking one tube at a time put a portion of the spinach mixture in it.  Place the filled tubes in a shallow, greased ovenproof dish, pour the single cream over, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven gas mark 2/150°C for about 20 minutes until the canneloni is heated through and the cheese is melted.  Serve with a green salad.

Seasonal local food recipe No.222 – Hugh’s spinach, penne and cheese spouffle

This is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day book.  He puts cooked pasta into a soufflé mix to turn it into a sustaining one-pot dish – a spoufflé!  I’ve been waiting for spinach (or chard) in my veg box to try this again.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

300ml milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 onion
a few black peppercorns
100g penne
olive oil
250g spinach, any tough stalks removed
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
50g plain flour
75g mature cheddar cheese, grated
a little freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
salt and pepper

Put the milk, bay leaf, onion and peppercorns into a small pan and bring to just below a simmer.  Turn off the heat and leave to infuse.

Cook the penne until al dente, drain well then toss in a tiny bit of olive oil to stop it sticking together.

Cook the spinach, with just the water clinging to it after washing, in a covered pan over a medium heat until wilted – just a few minutes.  Drain well.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water and chop roughly.

Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat, stir in the flour to form a roux and cook for a few minutes.  Reheat the infused milk, then strain.  Add the milk to the roux a third at a time, beating well: you will end up with a thick bechamel sauce.  Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, nutmeg, chopped spinach and season to taste.  Beat in the egg yolks, then fold in the cooked penne.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks.  Stir a spoonful into the bechamel mix to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest.

Tip into a buttered 1.5 litre soufflé dish, place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven gas mark 5/190°C for 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden.  Serve straight away.

Seasonal local food recipe No.142: Misticanza (sauteed mixed greens)

This Italian recipe tosses an assortment of green leaves with chilli and garlic in oil in a hot pan to make them more interesting.

It’s recommended by Bridget Gould, one of Camel CSA’s three expert growers, and comes from Bringing Italy Home by Ursula Ferrigno.

Any spring greens will do. Bridget says: “I have also used black kale to make this delicious dish and will be trying it with turnip tops when they’re available!”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

675g mixed greens (spinach, Swiss chard, purple sprouting broccoli, endive)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-2 small hot chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil


Trim and thoroughly wash the leaves and vegetables.

Fill a large pan with three litres of water and bring to the boil. Add salt to taste. Stir in the greens and boil for three to five minutes, or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water and drain again. Squeeze to eliminate all the water, then chop coarsely.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chillies and cook lightly to soften. Add the greens, and saute until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil or fresh lemon juice.

Seasonal local food recipe No.141: Swiss chard (or spinach), blue cheese and pine nut lasagne

This tasty vegetarian dish is recommended by VegBox Recipes. They say: “This is an amazingly delicious recipe for Swiss chard or spinach lasagne. We kept going back for more.”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 packet of no-cook lasagne sheets
500g Swiss chard (or spinach)
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
200g tub of half-fat creme fraiche (or Greek yoghurt)
75g pine nuts
200g blue cheese, such as Dolcelatte or Gorgonzola
200g mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil

750ml milk
1 oz butter
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour
1 bay leaf
75g parmesan cheese (or Cheddar)

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4, 350F) . Heat a large pan (dry) and add the pine nuts. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown. Put them in a bowl, to stop them burning.

Peel the onion and chop finely. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash the chard or spinach leaves and dry thoroughly (a salad spinner is ideal). Chop roughly.

Gently heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is starting to go translucent. Add the chard or spinach and the nutmeg and stir well. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, until the chard or spinach has wilted.

Mix in the creme fraiche. Crumble the blue cheese and add to the chard or spinach mixture. Grate the mozarella and add. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, put the milk in a pan, add the bay leaf and bring to a gently boil. Simmer for 5 minutes on the lowest heat setting. Remove the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon milk or water, to form a thick paste. Pour into the milk, whisking constantly. Heat gently until the sauce thickens. Simmer gently for 3 minutes. Add more milk (a little at a time) if the sauce is too thick. Then add half ofthe cheese and stir well, to melt it. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Put ¼ of the cheese sauce into the bottom of a lasagne dish (about 9 or 10 inches in length). Cover this with ½ of the chard or spinach mixture. Top with lasagne sheets. Repeat. Top the lasagne with the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the lasagne is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Top tip: this is easier to serve if you let it stand for 10 minutes after baking.

Seasonal local food recipe No.140: Sag aloo (chard or spinach with potato)

A quick and easy dish that can be made totally with the contents of Camel CSA’s veg boxes over the past fortnight – bar the spices, of course.

This version’s from Riverford Organic Veg but originally came from the Schumacher College at Dartington. They say: “Nice with rice, yoghurt raita and Indian pickles as a vegetarian meal or as part of a bigger Indian meal.”

If anything, the stronger-tasting Swiss chard is better than spinach on this occasion.

Serves: 4
Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

1 large onion chopped
2 large potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes or smaller
400g spinach or chard, stalks removed, coarsely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp clove garlic coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
olive oil and butter

Fry the cumin seeds in a heavy bottomed pan in the oil and butter until just starting to brown. Add the onion and fry until starting to brown. Add the potato, garlic, turmeric, ginger and garam masala, then fry until starting to soften. Add the chard or spinach and cook until it collapses over the potato. Salt to taste.

Seasonal local food recipe No 94: Couscous with chicken and baby spinach

A variation on a recipe by Angela Hartnett that uses pea shoots but we can use the spinach from this week’s boxes instead. You can either cook the chicken from fresh or it’s an excellent way of using up some leftovers.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main
Preparation and cooking: 40 minutes or so if cooking the chicken, much less if not

olive oil
4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 clove crushed garlic
1 sprig rosemary
250g instant couscous
400ml boiling water
2 spring onions, sliced
½ tsp ground ginger
1 dsp raisins
1 dsp chopped hazelnuts
4 salad radishes, sliced
50ml vinaigrette
½ tsp pesto
½ handful baby spinach or pea shoots

Heat a touch of olive oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook together with the crushed garlic and rosemary over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until it is golden brown and a knife can go through it easily. If it appears to be dry, add a touch of water. Once it is cooked, allow it to cool and either shred the meat or remove the bone and slice into strips, skin and all.

While the chicken is cooling, turn your attention to the couscous. Place it in a bowl with a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the 400ml of boiling water, stir and cover with a plate or clingfilm. Leave for five minutes before removing the cover and breaking the couscous up with a fork. Then add the chicken and remaining ingredients. Mix well and check the seasoning.

Serve in a large bowl at room temperature.

Seasonal local food recipe No 92: Warm salad of papardelle with herbs and baby spinach

Another recipe from Annie Bell’s Evergreen. She makes homemade pasta but bought is fine. It’s tossed with some herbs and baby spinach leaves while still hot, and the salad is served warm.

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking: 15 minutes

300g papardelle, fettucine or other flat ribbon pasta
½ tbsp red wine vinegar
salt, pepper
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp groundnut oil
55g baby spinach
2 level tbsp chives, snipped 2cm long
½ level tbsp tarragon leaves
½ tbsp basil, torn
1 level tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a shot of oil and then the pasta. Cook till al dente, depending on which size pasta you’re using. Meanwhile whisk the vinegar with the seasoning. Add the oils.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss with the dressing, adding all the leaves and herbs at the last minute. Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on XFollow us on InstagramFollow us on Threads
Cornwall Development CompanyLeaderDEFRA
Okay, thank you
This website uses cookies, to read our privacy policy please click here.