Earlier this year, Yotam Ottolenghi shared a recipe for spinach with fresh cheese and sumac. At the same time, he generously offered another recipe for a spinach and taleggio roulade with semi-dried tomatoes. Taleggio is a a soft but slightly aged cheese that comes from the Lombard region of Italy, and a few areas in the Veneto region. Its flavor melds with the sharper Pecorino cheese, tomatoes, spinach and basil to produce a wonderful savory slice with layers of Mediterranean flavors. If you’ve ever wanted to make your kitchen a bit more like Ottolenghi’s, you’re in luck. Leiths Cooking School is offering Ottolenghi cooking classes in 2011. If I lived in London, I’d already be signed up! — Kristina
About Yotam: After years in the food service industry, Yotam Ottolenghi, along with Noam Bar and Sami Tamimi, set up Ottolenghi, a unique food shop offering a wide range of freshly made savory dishes, baked products and patisserie items. They now have four locations in London and are working on a fifth restaurant with a new concept scheduled to open in early 2011. Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi was published in 2008 and sold over 100,000 copies. Ottolenghi’s second book of vegetarian recipes, Plenty, was released earlier this year.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe (and more about Yotam) after the jump!
Yotam writes ‘The New Vegetarian” column in the Guardian’s Weekend Saturday magazine. He lives with his partner, Karl, in west London.
(Portrait of Yotam and images of Ottolenghi shop by Keiko Oikawa)
Taleggio and Spinach Roulade (serves 6)
- 160 ml (2/3 cup) full-fat milk
- 2 tsp dried active yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 3½ tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 whole medium egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ tsp salt
- 350 g (3 cups minus one tablespoon) strong white flour (bread flour)
- 80 g (3 ounces) crème fraiche
- ½ tsp salt
- 100 g (3.5 ounces) baby spinach leaves
- 20 g (1 ounce) basil leaves
- 100 g (3.5 ounces) Pecorino cheese, grated
- 250 g (9 ounces) Taleggio cheese, sliced (or substitute with a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
- 100 g (3.5 ounces) semi-dried marinated tomatoes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 handful of poppy seeds
1. In a small saucepan, warm up the milk very slightly, just to about 30°C/85°F. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. Place the rest of the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the yeast and milk and work with a dough hook on slow speed for about 2 minutes. Increase to high speed and knead for another 7 minutes, by which point the dough should become a smooth, shiny ball (this process could also be done by hand; you will probably need to knead the dough for an extra 5–10 minutes).
3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl brushed with a little oil. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and put it somewhere warm. After about 45 minutes, once the dough has doubled in size, line a 30 cm x 40 cm (roughly 12 in. x 16 in.) oven tray with greaseproof paper.
4. Transfer the dough to a work surface dusted very lightly with flour and roll it out thinly so it reaches the size of the tray. Line the tray with the dough, pulling it right out into the corners. Cover with the tea towel again and leave for 30 minutes.
5. Once the rolled-out dough has risen significantly, cover it with the filling. Use a palette knife to spread the crème fraiche all over the surface, sprinkle salt and then scatter the spinach, basil, Pecorino, Taleggio and tomatoes.
6. Carefully pick up one of the longer sides of the dough and roll and push it all up into a neat spiral log shape. Stand the log on the seam so it doesn’t unravel when baked. Cover the tray in the tea towel again and leave for another 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F .
8. Brush the roulade’s surface gently with the beaten egg and then scatter on the poppy seeds. Make sure the oven has reached 200°C/390°F and then put the tray inside. After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 160°C/320°F.
9. Continue baking for roughly 25 minutes. Don’t worry if the roulade breaks or cracks a little. When ready, it should have taken on a nice dark brown color. Stick a sharp knife inside to check. It should come out with some melted cheese but no dough.
10. Remove the roulade from the oven, allow it to cool down a little (or completely) and cut into thick slices. Serve immediately with a salad.
This recipe originally appeared on Waitrose.com in May 2008.
Images by Kristina Gill. Cadet blue spinach dish by Gustavsberg; graphite square candle dish by SIA Home Fashion; blue bowl by Christiane Perrochon; salad plate (slate) by mud australia; napkin by Orskov; all other items vintage.
Why Yotam Chose This Recipe
I chose this wonderful recipe because it is luscious and a pure comfort. It’s the sort of “cake” you can just eat on its own, but also goes well in combination with almost anything else.