Those of you who follow @spadeforkspoon on Twitter may have noticed an increase in tweets about gluten free cooking over the last few weeks. This is because my son has recently been diagnosed as coeliac and therefore needs to follow a gluten free diet. Adapting meals to fit in with his new dietary requirements has been a bit of a challenge, but we’re getting there. Little Button Diaries asked me to create a Gluten-free Favourite Five for their blog. So, take a look and see what made the final five.
What would be in your favourite five gluten-free dishes?
Swiss chard is one of the heroes of my plot, and I’ve blogged about my love of it before. Its vibrancy always makes a visit to the plot a joy, but recently its been joined by many green shoots and leaves emerging all over the plot. Spring is such a great season and the prospect of new life and a season of growing ahead is an uplifting one. Although much is growing at the allotment, there is not a vast amount able to be harvested; and with Easter coming up I was looking for a dish which could combine some allotment ingredients and celebrate Easter at the same time. Cue the arrival of the Guardian the other day and Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for a Torta Pasqualina. It seems the Italians also have a need for an Easter dish which uses seasonal vegetables. The combination of chard and ricotta is always a good one, and having discovered Genius Gluten Free Puff Pastry recently its a dish I can make for the whole family. Here’s my recipe, loosely based on Ottolenghi’s.
You will need (makes enough for 8)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1kg Swiss chard (we have the Rainbow variety which adds great colour to the dish), stalks stripped and finely chopped, leaves shredded
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
Handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
Small handful of new fennel tops, finely chopped
½ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
500g Genius Gluten-free puff pastry
Gluten-free plain flour, for dusting
Start by sweating the onion for a few minutes until it is softened, then add the chopped chard stalks and celery. Continue to cook for a few minutes, before adding the leaves and allowing them to wilt. Take the pan off the heat, cool, then place the mix into a tea towel and squeeze out any liquid. The dryer the mix, the better it will hold its form later. Add the cheese, herbs, spices and 3 eggs to the chard mix and mix thoroughly (seasoning with a little salt and pepper as needed).
Roll out the 2/3 of the pastry and use it to line a 20cm loose bottom cake tin. Place the chard mixture into the pastry case and make 5 indentations, breaking an egg into each, before rolling out the remaining pastry and making a lid for the pie. Trim the edges and then crimp them to provide a secure seal. Brush with beaten egg and prick a few holes in the pastry, before placing in a preheated oven (180°C) for 45 minutes, until golden on top. Leave to cool and serve.