Cooked greens

Cooked greens

Spinaci e bietole cotti

By
From
Florentine
Makes
400 g cooked silverbeet and/or 3 20 g cooked spinach
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

In delis and even supermarkets around Florence you can always buy prepared, cooked greens – usually English spinach or silverbeet – shaped into large balls and ready to purchase by weight and take home to make ravioli, gnudi (spinach and ricotta dumplings) or crespelle (Florentine-style crêpes), to name two typical dishes. They’re also rather nice in a warm panino with melted cheese. It’s handy to buy them at the deli but it’s also very easy to prepare a batch at home – you can also freeze the balls of greens until you need them.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For cooked silverbeet

Quantity Ingredient
2 bunches silverbeet, about 3 kg

For cooked english spinach

Quantity Ingredient
4 bunches english spinach, about 1 kg

Method

  1. Silverbeet

    Rinse the silverbeet and remove the white stalks and central vein of the leaves, leaving approximately 800 g of green leaves.
  2. Bring a large pot of water (enough to cover the greens) to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and cook the greens for about 8 minutes or until they are tender and dark green. While the greens are cooking, prepare an ice bath. Drain the leaves, plunge them into the ice bath and drain again. If you don’t have ice, rinse in cold water instead and then drain. Chop the greens finely and then squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Use as is or shape the greens into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap until needed or freeze.
  3. Spinach

    Remove the roots of the spinach and rinse very thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt. Chop the leaves and stalks roughly.
  4. Bring a large pot of water (enough to cover the greens) to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Blanch the spinach briefly in the boiling water. Drain the leaves, plunge them into the ice bath and drain again. If you don’t have ice, rinse in cold water instead and then drain. Chop the greens finely and then squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Use as is or shape the greens into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap until needed or freeze.
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