Double Greens Polpette With Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Perfect food for when the evenings are getting lighter and the promise of spring seems not to far away. Comforting and fresh all at once, bridging the gap between the nourishing comfort of winter and the spring vegetables to come.
Gluten free oats will work in place of the breadcrumbs if you are sensitive to gluten just pulse them in a food processor until scruffy. I often serve these polpette with spaghetti too.
FOR THE SPINACH POLPETTE:
500g of spinach or spring greens, washed and roughly chopped
2 free range or organic eggs
100g of breadcrumbs (I use a good sourdough)
50g of grated pecorino
a good grating of nutmeg
a clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a red chilli, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE PESTO:
a small bunch of basil
a bunch of mint
1 red chilli
50g of toasted pumpkin seeds
the juice of ½ a lemon
a good grating of pecorino (25g)
a good glug of olive oil
FOR THE QUINOA:
More fresh mint and basil leaves
finely chopped chilli
More pecorino or Parmesan
For the spinach polpette, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the spinach, cook for a couple of minutes until wilted then put into a mixing bowl to cool a little. Add the eggs, breadcrumbs, pecorino, nutmeg, garlic and red chilli. Season and mix well.
Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls and place onto a baking tray and pop into the fridge for a few minutes. Preheat your oven to 200C.
Put the quinoa in a pan with twice the amount of water and a good pinch of salt, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
Bake the polpette in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and sizzling.
Next make your pesto all the pesto ingredients into a food processor add some salt and pepper and whizz until you have a deep green paste. You can also use a pestle and mortar here. Once the quinoa is cooked mix through half the pesto.
Serve the polpette on a pile of quinoa with the remaining pesto drizzled over the top. Finish with more herbs, chopped chilli and pecorino if you like.
Photo: John Dale