Juicy, cheesy spinach and ricotta filling enclosed in buttery, flaky puff pastry. These Spinach and Ricotta Rolls are great finger food for parties, snack food on the go, and popping into lunch boxes. Snack Monsters’ dream come true! Plus they are great for making ahead.
Posting live from regional Queensland in the midst of mango harvesting at the Groves’ Tropical orchard!!! Long time readers may remember that I visited this very same farm in early 2016. This City Gal turned Northern Beaches Gal Wanna-Be-Country-Gal swept into Yeppoon, armed with cameras and all manner of gadgets, ready to get stuck into the farm life. Turned up dressed completely inappropriately (who wears a sparkly clean WHITE TOP to a farm??) and as it so happens, I just missed the harvesting season. The mango trees were bare, with just a few late bloomers remaining.
But this year, I’m here to witness the action!!! YEE HA!
I arrived yesterday, was greeted so warmly by the Groves Family – Boss Man Ian, Boss Lady Sandi, their daughter Mel (Australia’s Best Mango Grader) and their son David (if it can be made of wood, he’ll build it, if it can’t, he’ll still probably figure it out) – caught up on farm happenings over the last 12 months (so. Much. TALKING!), shared laughs over mango daiquiris (oooh! Who wants the recipe??) and within 2 seconds of walking in the door of the homestead, I completely took over the kitchen.
Can’t help it. I partially did it under the guise of “Oh, let me help you, you’re so busy with packing the mangoes!”, but really, I’m just ridiculously overexcited about the bounty of fresh farm produce that I get to use on a whim. “Oh, I need limes! Do we have limes?” “What herbs are there? Lemongrass? You grow lemongrass??” “Hmm. So for dinner, I need green mangoes for a salad, almost overripe ones for the mango ice cream, and perfect ripe ones for dessert.”
Next week, I’ll be sharing all the tales from my visit. Including how I brought a giant suitcase which was mostly filled with food, including these Spinach Ricotta Rolls. Really. I know, who does that, right? Mad foodies. You don’t believe me? Hopefully one of the Groves will leave a testimonial on what they thought of these rolls. 🙂
The filling for these Spinach Ricotta Rolls is slightly different to what I use for my Spinach Ricotta Puffs and things like Cannelloni (woah, how have I not shared a recipe for Canelloni yet?), Lasagne (and again, no recipe yet??) and Spinach Ricotta Rotolo. The reason is because the ratio of filling to the buttery puff pastry is higher than the Puffs, and there is no sauce like with Cannelloni. So (I personally feel) the filling needs to have more flavour and be slightly juicer.
While you can make this with fresh spinach, I find it super easy to use frozen because I totally buy into the whole “snap frozen” thing. I applaud you if you use fresh, and I’ve included notes in the recipe for how to do so.
Happy weekend everyone! – Nagi xx
- 250 g / 8 oz frozen chopped spinach , thawed (Note 1)
- 400 g / 13 oz firm ricotta (Note 2)
- ¾ cup grated parmesan
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (cheddar, tasty, Monterey Jack, Gruyere, Pepper Jack)
- 1 egg
- 1 large garlic clove , minced
- Pinch of nutmeg (fresh grated or powder)
- ¼ - ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 3 sheets puff pastry (Note 3)
- 1 egg , beaten
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Take pastry out of freezer.
Place spinach in a colander and use a wooden spoon or your hands to press out excess water. You could also do this using a tea towel or paper towels. Transfer spinach to a bowl (drink the liquid, it’s good for you!).
Add remaining Filling ingredients. Mix to combine.
Place pastry on work surface and cut in half to create 2 rectangles – you should have 6 in total.
Divide filling between pastries, brush edge with egg then roll up, finishing with the seam side down.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Spray 2 x baking trays with oil (any).
Cut rolls into 4, or whatever size you want. Brush tops with egg (makes it golden) then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 25 minutes, then take out the top tray and move the bottom tray to the top and give it an additional 5 - 10 minutes to make it golden.
Best served warm – the pastry is crispier and the filling is juicier. See notes for make ahead instructions.
1. This can be made with fresh spinach though I use frozen for convenience and because I totally buy into the whole “snap frozen” thing. To use fresh, finely slice about 600g / 1.2lb of fresh spinach. Blanch for 45 seconds, then drain in a colander. Cool then squeeze out excess liquid. Measure out 250g of spinach then use per recipe.
2. Some ricotta purchased from really good Italian delis are really soft and spreadable, like soft butter. That ricotta is good quality fresh ricotta and it’s actually too watery for this particular recipe. Use ricotta purchased from supermarkets (Harris Farms is great for people in Australia) either over the deli counter or in the refrigerator section. If you only have super fresh creamy ricotta, drain it in a colander for 30 minutes or so to remove excess liquid.
3. I use Pampas butter puff pastry and the sheets are about 25cm/10” squares.
4. To make ahead: These can be frozen once cooked (cool, then store in airtight container) or frozen raw. Defrosting then refreezing raw puff pastry is fine, it puffs up a tiny bit less but in this roll form, it’s not noticeable. Bake from frozen for 15 minutes if already cooked, 30 minutes if raw. Or defrost then bake for 10 minutes if already cooked for 25 minutes per recipe if raw.
5. The filling for this recipe is slightly juicier than the filling for my Spinach Ricotta Puffs because there is a higher ratio of filling to pastry, so unless it's juicy, it has can be a bit dry unless served with sauce.
6. Nutrition per roll, assuming 24 rolls.
Spinach and Ricotta Rolls recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
When I travel, Dozer stays with a golden retriever boarder. Basically, he’s having a holiday too. He has so much fun that I fear the day that I go to pick him up and he refuses to come with me….!!