Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Spinach Leaf Wrap

It's been a while since I posted one of my recipes, and I thought - with the hot weather approaching (and here for some of us) - that a nice, cool finger food would be just the thing.

Kili's Spinach Wrap

1 bundle Fresh spinach (not the baby stuff, the real stuff)
1/2 pound Twaróg (any soft, creamy goat cheese will work, though)
2 tbsp heavy cream (might want more, or less - this really depends on how creamy your goat cheese starts out)
7 ounces Kalamata olives
6 sundried tomatoes
Handful of pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig fresh dill
1 bundle of fresh rosemary (if you grow your own, a couple of sprigs will do)
6 ounces Prosciutto (thinly sliced smoked Salmon works as well)
White Wine (Pinot Grigio is my preference)

**my measurements here are educated guesses as I've always made this "by the seat of my pants"**

Wash the spinach thoroughly, trim, stem and pat dry. You want to be absolutely certain all the sand and grit are off of the leaves. If the leaves are very large, you may consider cutting them in half for easier use later.

In a food processor, place half of the "leaves" off the dill (if you don't have fresh, a pinch of dry will do), "leaves" off of one sprig of rosemary, the tomatoes, garlic (having peeled it first), about 7 olives (pits removed), and pine nuts*. Blend until a paste forms. Then add the cheese and mix until well blended. At this point, begin to add the cream and just a splash of white wine. You are aiming for a mixture that is spreadable and creamy.**

Lay a spinach leaf out flat, spread a thin layer of the cheese mix over the leaf, place a thin slice of Proscuitto/Salmon on the cheese and then roll the leaf to make a "wrap" - leaf side out. You can use a toothpick to hold the wrap closed if you desire. I generally just place it seal down on the platter.

Repeat this until one or all of your ingredients run out. I generally have enough of a snack here to make a nice, light meal. I suggest chilling this for about 30 minutes before serving so that it is nice and chilled.

Lay a sprig or two of rosemary on the side of the platter and sprinkle with chopped Kalamata olives for presentation.

Serve with the rest of the wine, good music and great company.

If you are using this as an appetizer for a dinner party, I would follow it with:

Smoked leg of lamb
Asparagus (tossed in a wok with a quality basalmic vinegar and EVOO and maybe a sprinkle of lemon salt - just long enough to warm the asparagus through, no longer)
Couscous (spiced with dill, rosemary, garlic and tarragon ...and I'm a mushroom fanatic so I'd prolly toss in some morels as well)
Rolls w/ honey butter
A nice Merlot

* Note: I've occassionally tossed capers into this mix. If you do - be sure to reduce the number of olives or you over salt yourself big time.

** Note: I would avoid using a red wine for this. However, if you do not wish to use wine, a nice EVOO will work as well.

*** Note: This cheese mixture also tastes great as a spread for crackers.