Swede puree and velvety spinach
A Swedish-style swede & carrot mash meets an Indian-inspired spinach stew. For being complete strangers, they got along pretty well.
For the spinach stew, I looked up the very classic palak paneer, aka spinach with cottage cheese, recipe here (recommended!). I decided to replace the cream and cheese with split red lentils to boost the nutritional value of the dish in a non-dairy manner.
For four persons you will need:
Swede & Carrot mash:
Water, salt, black pepper, nutmeg
- Wash, peel and cut the vegetables into pieces
- Place in a deep pan with 400 ml water and a pinch of salt
- Bring the water to a good boil
- Turn off the heat, place a towel underneath the lid and let the vegetables get steamed
- Strain and keep the broth
- Mash by hand or using a handheld mixer, adding some of the broth
- Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper,nutmeg, oil and/or butter.
Velvety spinach stew:
- Spinach puree ingredients
300 gr tender spinach, washed
2 garlic cloves
1 cm piece ginger
2 cm piece chili
50 gr split red lentils, washed and cooked on medium heat in 100 ml water until tender
1 onion, minced
200 gr tomatoes, cut in pieces, fresh or canned
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
0.5 tsp turmeric
0.5 tsp dry chili
0.5 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp salt
Prepare the lentils
- Place the washed lentils in a pot with 100 ml water.
- Cook on medium to low heat until the lentils have absorbed the water and become mushy.
- Set aside.
- Wash the spinach and remove any spoiled leaves. Soak the spinach in a bowl with 2-3 cups hot water for 3 minutes.
- Strain the spinach and place it in 2-3 cups ice cold water for 3 min. Strain.
- Cut the spinach in smaller pieces. Place in a blender with the ginger, garlic and chili. Process until you have obtained a fine puree.
Making the stew
- In a pan, heat up two teaspoons of oil and add the cumin. Cover with a lid placed ajar and let the cumin seeds splutter.
- Add the bay leaf and roast for a minute or so.
- Add another teaspoon of oil/butter and add the finely chopped onion. Fry for about 4 min until soft.
- Add the cooked lentils adding some oil or butter if necessary. Fry for another 2 min, stirring.
- Add the tomatoes and bake for around 3 min.
- Time to add in the spices: the turmeric dissolved in some water, the dry chili, the asafoetida/hing and some salt. Cook for another 3 min, not forgetting to stir.
- Add the spinach puree, lower the heat and simmer adding some water (start with 100 ml and increase the amount if the mixture dries out).
- When the stew looks done, turn off the heat, mix a teaspoon of cornstarch in 50 ml water and add to the spinach stew, stirring until it has thickened. Add some butter and/or oil and let it set.
- Roast some slivered almonds in a hot non stick pan in a tsp of oil.
- In the same pan, fry up the cornmeal coated parsley. Place a tablespoon of cornmeal on a plate and add 30-40 gr of chopped and slightly moist parsley (frozen or fresh); mix well and bake until crisp.