SPINACH & RICOTTA TORTE WITH ITALIAN YEAST PASTRY Serves 6
YEAST PASTRY (Recipe follows)
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
1 -2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 large bunch of spinach, trimmed and shredded
1 -2 cloves garlic, crushed
150g ricotta cheese
3 free-range eggs. Lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh French tarragon (or preferred herb)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
roasted red capsicum, julienned (for garnish)
ITALIAN YEAST PASTRY: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated yeast into 1
tablespoon of cold water in a mixing bowl. Add 1 free-range egg, a little
salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Beat until blended. Add 1/3 cup each of
plain flour and wholemeal flour and beat until smooth. Knead on a lightly
floured board for a few minutes, shape into a ball and wrap in plastic,
leave for 20 minutes before rolling on a very lightly floured board.
Prepare Yeast Pastry. Roll thinly and place into a shallow, lightly oiled
tin, allowing an excess pastry to drape over the edge.
Saute the onions in heated oil until limp, add spinach and garlic and cook
until softened. Squeeze out any excess liquid and place spinach into a bowl,
allow to cool.
Stir in ricotta, eggs, seasoning, herbs and about 3/4 of the cheese. Spoon
into the pastry case, fold the pastry over the edges of the filling.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the filling.
Bake in preheated 210oC oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 180oC and bake
for a further 15 minutes or until set. To serve, cool slightly before
cutting into portions, serve at room temperature or allow to become cold.
Garnish with strips of grilled red capsicum and parsley.
AUTUMN FRUITS CAKE Serves 8 – 10
Serve this soft, buttery cake for afternoon tea or as a warm dessert cake
served with cream.
250g butter (at room temperature)
1 cup castor sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 free-range eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
Approx. 1 kg stone fruit (nectarines and plums unpeeled, peaches skinned)
Coarse brown sugar or icing sugar
Heat oven to 180oC.
Beat together butter and castor sugar until pale and creamy, sprinkle in
citrus zest and cinnamon, add egg mixture and milk gradually and beat well.
Sift in the mixed flours and fold in gently.
Lightly butter and flour a 25cm – 30cm spring form pan and spoon in the
mixture and spread evenly. (This will be quite a thin layer.) Cut the fruit
into quarters or thin slices and arrange closely on the surface of the cake.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until cake tests as cooked through. Sprinkle on
brown sugar or icing sugar before serving.
BEETROOT, CARROT & RED ONION SALAD Serves 4
This is highly nutritious, zesty in flavour and a lovely accompaniment to
all kinds of main courses. Ideal for a barbecue or a picnic, too.
2 medium sized raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
2 medium sized carrots, scrubbed and coarsely grated
1 small red onion, peeled and slivered thinly
Plenty of coarsely chopped Continental parsley
Sea salt and coarse pepper to taste
Small quantity of preferred dressing (I like a mixture of egg mayonnaise and
Toasted pine nuts (optional)
Prepare vegetables, combine in a bowl. Add the parsley, salt and pepper.
Pour on the dressing and toss lightly but thoroughly (Not too much
dressing!) Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
This is also delicious served the day after it is prepared but do not add
the pine nuts until serving time.
BANANA, WALNUT & YOGHURT WHOLEMEAL LOAF (Makes 1 loaf)
Bananas were a luxury item for some time but once again are readily available
at a reasonable price, especially if they are a bit over-ripe.
This makes them perfect for this recipe, which is a delicious addition to
lunchboxes, for afternoon tea or to pack for a picnic.
2 – 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 free range egg
1 3/4 cups wholemeal self raising flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or mixed spices
3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (preferably Yarra Valley!)
Place chopped bananas, butter and castor sugar in a food processor, blend
together. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
Add half the flour and half the yoghurt, blend in briefly, add remaining
flour, yoghurt and nuts and process for just a few seconds. Spoon into a
buttered loaf tin and bake in a preheated 170oC oven (fan forced) for 45 –
55 minutes. Remove from tin, cool on rack and store in cake tin. Serve
with butter. This loaf freezes well.