The Perpetual Spinach seedlings I planted not that long ago are now producing an abundance of delicious green leaves. Perpetual Spinach is not a true spinach but a type of chard with young leaves that resemble baby spinach and that have a taste more like spinach than chard. The best thing about this amazing green is that the more you pick the leaves, the more the plant produces. It's a pick and come again leafy green which is such a generous thing to have growing in the veggie patch.
Perpetual Spinach growing happily in my garden.
I have been picking these highly nutritious leaves daily and using them in the meals we eat here. I shred them for wilting in breakfast omelettes. I toss them into healthy lunchtime salads. I combine them with other vegetables in our evening meal as I've done in this delicious cannelloni.
A delicious vegetarian cannelloni.
This recipe is an adaptation on Kate Di Prima's Three Cheese and Pumpkin Cannelloni in the recipe book, "Kids Meals the Whole Family will Love". If you don't have Perpetual Spinach growing in your garden, you could just as easily use baby spinach or some young silverbeet leaves.
Nutritious ingredients for a delicious cannelloni.
Pumpkin & Perpetual Spinach Cannelloni
80g cold mashed pumpkin
generous handful of fresh perpetual spinach leaves, chopped
200g fresh ricotta cheese
1/3cup grated tasty cheese
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon nutmeg
8-10 cannelloni tubes
500mL tomato passata
small handful fresh basil leaves
* finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Mix together the cheeses, pumpkin, spinach and egg yolks in a large bowl. Season with
nutmeg. This is the filling for your cannelloni.
3. Scoop the filling into a piping bag and set aside. (If you don't have a piping bag, place the
filling in a clean plastic freezer bag and tie a knot at the top, later you can snip corner off
for filling to squeeze through:)
4. Finely chop basil and mix this through the tomato passata.
5. Cover the base of a greased or lined rectangular baking dish with about a third of the
passata. (* Make sure your can fit up to 10 cannelloni tubes side by side in your dish.)
6. Carefully pipe filling into each cannelloni tube laying them side by side on top of the
passata that covers the base of your dish.
Filled cannelloni tubes in the baking dish.
8. Pour remaining passata over the top of the filled cannelloni tubes so they are completely covered.
9. Sprinkle finely grated parmesan over the top of the passata.
10. Bake in oven until cannelloni tubes are soft and top is golden brown.
Serve with a tossed salad or some steamed vegetables for a healthy, homemade meal.
Perpetual Spinach is so easy to grow and it's such a versatile veg. There are so many ways that you can use it once you have it growing in your garden. Omelettes, salads, pies, stir fries, soups, spanakopita or ... cannelloni!