I'm Strong to the Finish, ‘Cause I Eats Me Spinach
pop quiz: a little olive oil for a sailor with muscles!
If you get a portion with three spinach dumplings on the plate, beware; if you eat all three you may not be able to move for the rest of your ski trip. Drenched in brown butter, spinach dumpling is truly the food of champions.
Spinatknodel is at number two in my Top 10 Vegetarian Meals available in Austrian Ski resorts. If you fancy making it yourself it is not so easy if you are in the UK. In Austria the shops sell suitable bread cubes, in the UK you need to make them yourself, not so easy, but hey, give it a go...
Spinatknodel Recipe Ingredients
- 225g very dry white bread*
- About 500ml semi-skimmed milk
- 220g frozen spinach, defrosted
- 35g Emmental cheese, grated
- 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 Eggs
- Pinch Nutmeg
*The bread needs to be very dry and stale. The problem with a lot of UK bread is that is goes mouldy before it goes stale! Try to get hold of white bakers’ rolls with no preservative, wrap them in a clean T-towel and place in a very dry, well ventilated place and leave for a few weeks; until they have the texture of bricks.
Spinatknodel Recipe Method
- Take 150g of the bread and ‘chop’ into 1cm cubes; it doesn’t have to be neat and it will be hard. A knife with a saw blade (or a saw!) works well.
- Place the cubes in a bowl and cover with milk; use enough milk to cover all the bread, pushing it down so none is poking out. Set to one side for about an hour.
- Roughly chop the remaining 75g of bread and use a food processor to create breadcrumbs.
- Squeeze the excess milk from the soaking bread, checking there are no hard bits remaining.
- Squeeze the excess water from the spinach, chop and add to the bread/milk mix.
- Add the breadcrumbs, both cheeses, the eggs and a generous pinch of nutmeg, mix thoroughly.
- Season to taste; set mixture aside for about 15mins.
- Bring a very large pan of salted water to a gentle simmer.
- Divide the dumpling mixture into 12 equal balls, rolling in your hands to shape.
- Gently drop the dumplings into the simmering water for about 15mins, they are done when they float to the top (pan needs to be big enough for them all to float!).
- Remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen roll.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan until it starts to sizzle and go brown.
- Add the dumplings and fry for a couple of minutes to warm through and add a bit of colour.
Serves four: Eat immediately smothered in all the butter, topped with some extra grated cheese – lip lick-ingly good.
pop trivia: “I'm strong to the finish, ‘cause I eats me spinach” from ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’ an animated cartoon character from the 1930s, made in to a movie starring Robin Williams in 1980.