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Spinach and curd roulade

 Spinach and curd roulade
  • Canapé
  • medium
  • Makes 25–30
  • 1 hour 30 minutes

PT1H30M

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This is a very old-fashioned, dare I say slightly naff but delicious canape that my Mum often makes. The flavour combinations are indisputable: spinach, soft cheese and nutmeg. Impossible to go wrong. I imagine the reason this might have gone out of favour is due to its almost comical roly-poly look. Sliced thin these make excellent canapes either cold or warm, or else it makes a lovely light lunch.

Ingredients

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  • 500g of spinach, washed and de-stemmed
  • 125g of plain flour
  • 150g of unsalted butter
  • 500ml of milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 200g of cheese curds, either cow, sheep or goat depending on preference. If you can't find curds then cream cheese works just as well
  • 50g of Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
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Method

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1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
2
Start by making the bechamel. Melt 125g of the butter over a low heat and then add the flour. Cook for at least two minutes, stirring all the while. Using a whisk, mix in all the milk at once, whisking vigorously. After 30 seconds, revert to a wooden spoon and heat, stirring all the while, until the mix comes to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper and half the nutmeg. Leave to cool
3
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Plunge the spinach in and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and once cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water thoroughly. Chop very finely
4
Stir the spinach into the cooled bechamel, along with the egg yolks
5
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the spinach mix carefully
6
Line a baking tray (roughly 35cm in length) with greased foil. Spread the spinach mix onto the tray as evenly as possible and bake in the oven for 15 minutes
7
When it comes out of the oven, tip the flat souffle onto a clean cloth. Trim the slightly crunchy edges. Immediately roll the roulade lengthways whilst hot, leave for 30 seconds and then unroll. My mum wasn’t quite sure what the reason for this was – sometimes you just do what you’re told! – but I suppose it could be so that it’s easier to roll again once it has cooled
8
Season your curd or cream cheese with salt, pepper and the remaining nutmeg. Once the roulade has cooled, spread on the curd evenly
9
Roll up the roulade. If serving the roulade at room temperature then it is ready and can be sliced into 1cm slices. If you’d like to serve it warm then melt the remaining butter and brush this over the roulade. Sprinkle over the Parmesan and bake for a further 5–10 minutes at 200°C to get a nice crust. Leave to cool briefly before slicing
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