Want to know what I would consider a lot of spinach? 2 pounds.
It can take me a week to finish a clamshell of baby spinach but I I figured 2 bunches of regular spinach would be 2 lbs. After prepping and removing the stems from both bunches, I barely had a pound of spinach.
Still eager to make this dish, I added our emergency package of frozen spinach (the convenience of it being de-stemmed was not lost on me) and while I still didn’t have enough spinach for the recipe, it was certainly plenty of spinach!
After cooking and baking the spinach, the volume decreases and allows you to eat a ton of spinach in a sitting. Fresh dill would be ideal but I had no dill (and I don’t even think my dill seeds worked in the garden), so I opted for dried dill weed and dill seeds for its oomph of flavour. Next time, I might add some fresh lemon juice to balance out the spinach flavours, too.
The highlight of the dish is actually the creamy tofu ricotta, a bit heavy on the garlic, but delicious with a sprinkle of paprika and drizzled with olive oil.
This is a Turkish inspired dish from Peace & Parsnips, a vegan cookbook from Lee Watson. Lee blogs at the Beach House Kitchen and hails from a small rural area in Northern Wales. The British and European flavours (along with the gorgeous photos!) were a welcome change from the cookbook.
The cookbook was released earlier in Europe, but the American edition, complete with cups instead of grams, was only recently available. Packed with vegetables, the recipes are exciting and unique. The recipes are definitely a step up from my day-to-day cooking. A bit more complex, they would be nice for a weekend meal if I have some more time. True to its title,Peace & Parsnips, I enjoyed seeing ingredients like parsnips, turnips, dill and watercress (ok, maybe not watercress, I don’t really like it) that don’t get featured as much in American books.
Many of the recipes tempt me, and with a whole chapter devoted to curries, how could one complain? With 200 recipes, there are plenty to choose from.
Parsnip and walnut rumbledethumps with homemade baked beans. Roasted almond and kohlrabi koftas with a tomato and ginger masala. Tiger Mountain beans with a red pepper masala and paired with a peanut and coriander salad and sesame pancakes. Okra, corn and black eyed pea succotash with a chili cornbread crust. Rainbow Swiss chard with rutabaga, dill and dijon mash. Raw spiced apple and date pie. Yum.
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in Canada or the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about something positive in your life. The winner will be selected at random on June 22, 2016. Good luck!
Recipes spotted from Peace & Parsnips spotted elsewhere:
Fennel, dill and saffron soup (with another cookbook giveaway)
PS. I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair and Meatless Mondays.
Turkish-Style Spinach with Creamy Tofu Ricotta
Recipe reprinted, with permission, from Peace & Parsnips
Author’s note: Turkish food is stunning – I love the eclectic mix of influences. This delightful Turkish dish may seem heavy on the spinach, but you know what it’s like – it just disappears into a pile of gorgeous green. You can use any suitable greens here – kale works beautifully, beet leaves are brilliant, and even the greener shades of thinly sliced cabbage will do. This dish can easily be made into a bigger plate by adding sliced cooked potatoes and cherry tomatoes to the spinach. You will have better results if you make the tofu ricotta a day ahead and keep it in the fridge.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2¼ pounds (1kg) spinach
- 2 large pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
- a big handful of fresh dill
- a good pinch of salt
For the tofu ricotta
- 1½ pounds (700g) firm tofu, pressed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
For the topping
- a good pinch of sweet paprika
- olive oil, for drizzling
1. Put the oil and garlic into the largest pan you have, on medium heat, and fry for a minute. Then add the allspice and fry for a moment, stirring constantly. Add the spinach in big fistfuls and stir to help it to wilt. You will need to do this in batches; covering the pan helps a lot. Once all of the spinach has wilted down, stir in the nutmeg and dill with a pinch of salt and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has disappeared. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.
2. Place the ingredients for the tofu ricotta in a blender and blitz until smooth.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
4. Spread out the spinach in a medium baking dish and press it into the corners to make a solid layer. Top with the tofu ricotta, spreading it in a thick layer until it meets the edges. Sprinkle with the paprika and drizzle some olive oil on top, then place in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until the tofu is browned.
5. Serve warm with flatbreads, roasted veggies, or maybe a nice glass of “lion’s milk” (the Turkish apéritif raki – don’t worry, it’s vegan!).
For 6 as a side dish or 4 as a big plate
Recipe from Peace & Parsnips: Adventurous Vegan Cooking For Everyone © Lee Watson, 2016. Photo credit to Alistair Richardson. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com
Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher. I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Contest period begins Saturday, June 11 2016 and ends Wednesday, June 22, 2016. For American and Canadian residents only. Approximate retail value US$25. Enter by writing a comment answering the prompt for a chance to win. Entrants must supply a valid email address. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours.