Spinach and ricotta is such a classic combination, and it’s one of my favourites – the flavours are mild, but they work beautifully together. Creamy ricotta can never be a bad thing, especially with lots of garlicky spinach! You’ll usually find spinach and ricotta paired with pasta (I’ll remake that recipe one day, as the photos are horrendous but the recipe is awesome), but this time I decided to put my own stamp on it, and make this creamy spinach and ricotta lentil slice (is it even an Amuse Your Bouche recipe if it’s not some kind of lentil bake?).
I’ve been eating lots of lentils lately – they’re such a healthy protein, and so versatile too! This week alone I’ve made lentil soup, dal, and this creamy lentil slice. Even just this one dish could be eaten in any number of ways – with salad and garlic bread (my personal favourite), with roasted veggies and gravy, popped in a lunchbox or picnic basket… it’s so good that you’ll be happy to finish the whole batch in a couple of days (or freeze it in slices!).
Just cook some red lentils in stock, and add some garlicky sautéed spinach and onion. Add a bit of grated cheese, and then top it with some nice big dollops of creamy ricotta. As it bakes, the ricotta stays mostly intact, but melts down just slightly into the cheesy, garlicky lentils. Heavenly.
I’ve shared a lentil slice here on the blog once before, but this time I skipped the oats and used a couple of eggs to bind it all together instead. The end result is lighter and fluffier – a bit like a heartier, more filling version of a frittata. Both methods are great, so it just depends what kind of thing you fancy.
If you’re not a spinach fan, I’m sure this same idea would work well with any other kind of sautéed vegetable. I love adding ricotta to the top of any kind of frittata or quiche – it feels so luxurious to get little pockets of creaminess through your dinner!
I can see myself adapting this same idea for all kinds of dinners – even Eden loved it! But for now, I’m very happy at the prospect of a second night eating this spinach and ricotta lentil slice.
Spinach and ricotta lentil slice
- 185 g (~ 1 cup) dried red lentils
- 500 ml (~ 2 cups) vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- Few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
- 100 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
- 2 eggs
- Black pepper
- 2-3 tbsp ricotta cheese
- Add the lentils to a saucepan with the vegetable stock. Simmer, stirring regularly, until the lentils are tender and any excess liquid has been absorbed - around 15-20 minutes (you'll need to stir regularly towards the end, and turn the heat down, to ensure they don't stick). You can add a dash more water if needed - or, if you have too much excess liquid, just drain it away. Set aside to cool for around 15 minutes.
- Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the chopped spinach (you can add a handful at a time if it won't all fit in the pan), and cook for a few minutes until wilted.
- When the lentils have cooled a bit, add them to a mixing bowl along with the spinach mixture, chopped parsley, grated cheese (hold a little back for topping), 2 eggs, and a good pinch of black pepper. Mix thoroughly, and transfer to a baking dish.
- Add a few dollops of ricotta cheese to the top of the lentil mixture, and top with any remaining grated cheese. Bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 45 minutes, or until firm and crispy.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe (but you could probably stretch it to feed 6!).