This is a beautiful Vegetarian dish – delicious and stunning to look at when gracing a buffet table or served as (maybe) first course at a dinner party and perfect as a main course for a light summer lunch! I know in many parts of the world at this time, ‘Summer’ is slowly saying good bye for now, but…….
Despite what many people may think, the “job” of being the wife of an Ambassador (or that of a very Senior Diplomat) abroad does not mean GLAMOUR 24/7 with an unlimited Official Budget to spend on Entertainment. Far from it – first of all those budgets are as tight as they come and if you could listen to the talks away from strangers, you would quickly find out, that this applies to more or less all diplomatic representatives. Here is where the “job” of a wife comes into full force – she will have to be able to come up with a wonderful menu plan suited for each of their many many dinners and luncheons – and since frequently the same people will/have to attend any of those functions, the menu of course cannot be a repetitious one.
And so, since I always enjoyed having people around, serving them nice food, good wine, trying to make them relax, laugh and be happy, this part of my then ‘job’ was not too difficult to deal with. I was also fortunate to have during all those years met a great number of kind and wonderful people who helped me to learn and gain the necessary experience which was needed for me to become a good representative of my own country – a very good Hostess.
But what do you do when you are in a country where most of the (food-) items you need are not available and your Government will or cannot fly them in (i.e. West Africa)– you simply improvise!!! And you would be surprised to find out, how very much the simple but delicious “home cooking” for example, is appreciated by most of those guests who often get ‘wined and dined’ on Beluga Caviar and Vintage Champagne.
Yes, of course, I too like Caviar and Champagne, but not every day, lol – lol!!! Give me a delicious sandwich and a cup of home-made vegetable soup or just a bowl of ‘Spaghetti e limone’ any time.
So, enough of this for the time being. I just like to bring you a few recipes of dishes which over the years have appeared on one of my buffet tables and for which I had a ‘repeat order’ by the same guests, who tasted it for the first time in my house.
Today’s Roulade has always been and still is, one of my great easy Buffet Stars. Occasionally I made 3 separate sheets of Spinach but for the actually filling I used 1 x red, 1 x yellow and 1 x green capsicum and laid the finished slices out in alternate fashion – looks very attractive.
This once again is for 2 people plus some left-overs.
At least ½ kg spinach (or green jeera – 4 x bunches) – picked, well washed, kept aside and left to drain.
1 x large red capsicum ( sweet pepper), all seeds taken out, slightly cooked for a few minutes, drained, kept aside.
Some grated nutmeg
A good dollop of unsalted butter
4 x Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese (or sharp Cheddar)
4 Tbsp of double cream
Salt, pepper and some sprinkling of paprika
Garlic bread seasoning
2 eggs – separated and kept aside –
250 g of cream cheese or better Quark (I used my own home-made Quark – for recipe look at Quark-Glorious Quark of 16.08.2016 – mixed with garlic bread seasoning, salt, pepper and paprika)
Heat oven to 200 C
Cut grease proof paper to size of your Swiss roll tin (or any other).
Cook Spinach just for a few minutes.
Take off flame and let cool slightly.
Take clean Tea-towel, put spinach in middle and now ‘wring’ as much water out as possible – and then chop spinach finely.
Now mix this with nutmeg, softened butter, parmesan cheese, cream and some seasoning. Beat in the egg yolks.
Separately whisk egg whites into soft peaks and gently fold into your spinach mixture. Spread this onto the prepared tin, smooth out and bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or so until firm (but not hard!)
When done, turn spinach upside down on another clean tea towel and let it cool, without removing tin, for maybe 30 minutes.
In the meantime ‘blitz’ capsicum lightly (do not make it into purée).
Mix with cream cheese or better, Quark!! – season well.
When spinach is cool, peel off paper. I find this is the only tricky part – so do it very slowly.
Spread this with the earlier prepared capsicum and Quark mixture.
Now carefully, using the towel to lift baked spinach etc. up, turn this into a fairly tight roll.
Let it rest for 20 minutes or so, cut (best with a serrated knife) into thick slices and serve.
That’s it – enjoy!
PS. This keeps well inside your fridge, and is also delicious used just as a spread on toast, crackers, stuffed inside Hoops (Arabic bread) etc.
This sounds so wonderful 🙂
…….:) 🙂 and tastes wonderful, too!
Sounds almost like a quiche type dish. I like anything with eggs so I’m sure I would love it. 🙂
Gina – no pastry here!!! But I do see what you mean – so go ahead and try making this 🙂 🙂
Looks delicious! We will certainly try this soon!
lovely – I am pretty sure you will like this – maybe you’ll let me know later? 🙂
Of course I ‘ll let you know! 😊
Wonderful dish for the end of summer!
Oh Ellie, dont just keep it for the summer 🙂 🙂
They look excellent!
…and of course not all diplomatic guests are interesting and some might not even be nice, but I’m sure you have to put on a brave face regardless. From your writing, I’m sure you are a very good hostess indeed 🙂
thank you for your compliment, M.D. 🙂
Making some little changes(soy cream, goat ricotta,and grated pecorino , instead of double vaccine cream etc) I think I’ll make this dish for my birthday lunch…
My guest will be surprised with something new and “I”will be happy to taste this stunning recipe
(You sure you aren’t a Chef , besides a Diplomat’s wife?)
hahaha – one thing I am sure of, I am not a Chef – I just like cooking for family and friends. This is so nice planning to make this for your Birthday lunch. When is the day????? 🙂
Well,my birthday is tomorrow….
[maybe someday I’ll tell you the whole truth about my age…(!)]
Ciao, cara , un abbraccio,
Love it anything with spinach is on the top of my list. Did you know that spinach has more protein than a steak!
Wonderful – you like this too. When we are in Italy all our meals have to start with a plate full of beautiful spinache con limone e olio – oh I am getting peckish now 🙂
Glorious recipe I’ll happily use for a light main with perchance a bit of seafood as first course – it looks just beautiful!!
OK: Love Beluga and Krug also 🙂 !! Not that I can oft afford it these days !!!! My fave story: At about 24, on my first trip back > Europe with husband-dear, breakfast was served aboard KLM twixt Beirut and Rome: well yes, we were not in the ‘Blue Lagoon’ 🙂 ! Beluga offered: oh yes . . . a bemused hostess coming around for the second time: oh yes! A few minutes later she brought the rest of the hardly touched 500 gm [no mistake!] blue and black and white tin saying she could not be ‘bothered’ doing all the ‘mathematics’ re what was left on board – could we please finish the tin!!!!!!!!! Guess what happened ere the 707 landed ?
hahaha – should I not laugh!! where did that tin end up??? At least you avoided a liver shock. Krug – eh! I got “hooked” on Taittinger Brut through extremely wealthy friends – I even tasted and yes, liked, their 1995 Comtes de Champagne Rosé 1995, but that is now some time ago 🙂 🙂 …but memory lingers on. But to be honest, when we are in Spain I find absolutely nothing wrong with a bottle of chilled Cava!!!!
Wow!! this recipe is so good.It looks so attractive.Thank you so much for the share.
thank you for looking into my kitchen 🙂
My pleasure.You certainly have a lovely kitchen.
That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Thank you, Ann and I hope you give this one a try 🙂 🙂
Wondering if a lazy person could put this in a casserole dish in layers and cut it in squares rather than rolling it all up.
Oh JUliana, would you really do this?? 🙂 I have never tried this and of course you would loose the whole beautiful effect. Why not try this method here – its so easy!!!
But time consuming. I leave my house at 7 and do not get home until around 5, have chores to do–live in country with horses, papers to grade, so like healthy, yummy food that is quick and easy.
🙂 – yes, it certainly is 🙂
That’s it, you say. I say, there’s more to it. There’s mixing, flipping . . . Too much work but looks so good! One of these days . . .
Sounds so nice, Carina, but I know just how slap dash and messy I am. I might need assistance from that hostess with the mostest 🙂 🙂
hahaha Jo – dont put your light under a bushel l!!! I take the last as a compliment 🙂 – Hostess – Yes, Mostest – NO – I am always learning 🙂 🙂
This has got to be one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever seen – stunning! And simple ingredients transformed! I would have a party just to make this! 🙂
🙂 🙂 thanks for your compliment. Hope you will be able to make it, too – even without a party
What a wonderful recipe Carina. I love how the “wrap” is made with so much spinach and is so healthy, yet satisfying. Lovely entertaining idea!
thank you, Johanne. As a first course or as part of a buffet – perfect!!!