Sunday afternoons.
They're nice because they mark the end of a tough week. They're not so nice because, well, they also mark the beginning of another...

It is because of this predicament that I like to make the most of my Sundays. The next one is a whole 7 days away. Gah. Things are picking up at school and there's so much to do all of a sudden. This time of the year is painful but it makes the summer break, following shortly after, so much more worth the wait.

I'll be in the south of France this summer- Provence. The french food markets are something I can't wait to see again. When I was living in Paris, on Sunday, too, we used to walk to the markets and fetch a freshly-baked baguette, a wide variety of fresh cheeses, olives, fruit, and maybe a sweet pastry from one of adorable bakeries in the area, for breakfast. The produce was something to admire. We definitely ate well....

I felt like something comforting to eat for lunch today. In the end I made lunch for the whole family, while keeping them waiting a little, which ALWAYS seems to happen, no matter how early I start. At least they're hungry by the time I'm done- everything tastes better when you're hungry and you also tend to eat a lot more! ;) 

Spinach, mushroom and ricotta cheese is a common ingredient combination (a great one at that). However, alongside the soft crepe- some crunch was needed, and a slight zing as well, just to cut through the rich filling. So, I added pumpkin seeds to the mix and drizzled a sharp balsamic reduction over the top of the final plated dish.  Overall, it was a pretty tasty dish. I would however, add a dash of nutmeg to the mixture, and pine-nuts would be a nice substitute for the pumpkin seeds- they both work really well though.


NUTRITION:


Ricotta cheese is actually lower in fat than cottage cheese and is hands down a better choice over hard cheeses which tend to have higher fat contents. But, don't exclude hard cheeses from your diet because a variety of cheese is still key to healthy eating. It provides protein, heart-healthy omega 3's, and a significant dose of calcium which is important for strong bones.


Mushrooms and spinach are very low in calories per serving and offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. All vegetables are key to healthy eating, in moderation that is.


The crepes are understandably something you'd want to avoid eating on a daily basis, and their nutritional content isn't very high. But, they're great for a change now and the. If you're looking to make them healthier, you can substitute the plain flour for rye, buckwheat or wholemeal (many others) which offer more health benefits than plain flour does. 


Ingredients:


Filling:
2 spring onions, chopped + long end pieces
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 pack mixed mushrooms, cut into pieces (refer to picture below)
Bunch of parsley, chopped
200g fresh spinach, leaves broken in half
210g ricotta cheese
50g pumpkin seeds
30g fresh cream
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 lemon

Crepes:
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
250ml whole milk, and extra if needed
4 eggs
50g butter + extra for cooking


Balsamic Reduction:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 tsp brown sugar

In a medium bowl, add the flour and salt, and mix. Melt the butter gently in the microwave and let cool. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gradually whisk in the egg mixture until all is combined and smooth. Then, add the butter and whisk again until smooth. 

In a pan, place a small knob of butter and let it coat the bottom of the pan. If there is too much, wipe the pan with some paper towel. Place a ladle full of batter in the pan, lift and turn the pan so that the batter works it's way over the entire pan bottom, and a little up the sides. (This helps with flipping). Cook for about two minutes or until browning slightly on the side that's face down. Then flip and let the other side brown slightly too. Flip onto a plate and repeat until all the batter is used up. Set the crepes aside for later. 

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In a large pan, drizzle in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and place on medium heat. Once warm, chuck in the spring onion and garlic and saute until soft. Then, add the mushrooms, and grind in some pepper and salt until well seasoned to taste. Cook through until soft, but still meaty, then add the parsley and mix. Take off the heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside. 

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In the same pan, drizzle some olive oil and chuck in your spinach. Stir to coat. Squeeze over some lemon juice. Add a splash of boiling water and cover for a minute or two until the spinach is wilted and has kept its colour. Any stalks should be soft with a little crunch still. Add a touch of salt and pepper.

Add the spinach, ricotta, cream and pumpkin seeds to the bowl of mushrooms and mix well. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper until suited to your taste. Set aside.

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In the same pan, place the balsamic vinegar, sugar and honey. Turn the heat up to medium and stir constantly. Let it cook until it bubbles and has slightly thickened, whilst stirring. Then, take off the heat and transfer to a small bowl. 
ASSEMBLING:

Roll:
I admit that it gets a little fiddly making the parcels, so by all means, make it easier by simply filling your crepe and rolling it up in the traditional way. It still tastes the same. :p 

Parcel:
If you want it warm, heat your mixture in the microwave for a few seconds depending on how warm it still is, then assemble. Reheating the crepes makes them floppy. 

Place a crepe on a flat surface and put about two heaped spoonfuls of the filling in the middle. Fold in the outside to create a parcel and tie the long ends of the spring onions around it to hold it together. Drizzle over the balsamic reduction and eat.

ENJOY
sofia
10/13/2014 14:12:11

What is this dish called in italian??

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