Thursday, October 16, 2008

The spinach diaries, part 2

It was a hectic week, but we made it! I did have time to cook and eat but not so much to write about it, so now I've got some catching up to do!
Let's begin with something I picked up on my voyage to France last summer. Okay, not exactly a big journey since it's an hour's drive away from Freiburg, but a different country anyway. On this trip I learned a groundbreaking fact: a cake isn't necessarily always sweet. It can also be a savoury and moist creation to be companied for instance with soup or salad. I made one mini loaf (15cm x 8 cm) but you can double or tripple the ingredients depending on what size cake you prefer to make. I used spinach (still got some left!) and fresh herbs but basically the only limit is you're imagination.
It tasted great with a hot bowl of creamed pumpkin soup.

Herb cake

1 egg
pinch of salt, sugar and black pepper
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
50 g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 handful fresh spinach
3 tablespoons fresh herbs chopped (I used chive and basil)

Preheat oven to 180°c. Beat the egg with salt and sugar. Mix flour and baking powder together and add to the egg. Stir in the yoghurt, olive oil and black pepper.
Chop spinach and add to the batter together with the herbs.
Spoon the mixture to an oiled loaf pan and bake for 40 - 50 minutes depending on the size. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan and serving.

Cream of pumpkin soup (with green beans and bacon)

500 g pumkin of your choice (butternut squash, hokkaido, etc.)
1 onion
500 ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
salt and pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg

a handful of green beans
2 tablespoons minced bacon

Peel and cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces and cook in chicken stock with the chopped onions until soft. Puree with a mixer and add the spices.
Fry green beans on an oiled pan for a few minutes and add the bacon. Let it fry until beans are softer but still crunchy.
Stir creme fraiche (honey if sweetness needed), beans and bacon into the soup and serve with some herb cake.

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