SPINACH AND ROQUEFORT PUREE
In reading about all the important “brain foods” in this week’s posting, I decided to create a recipe incorporating as many of them as possible. This recipe uses four of them: leafy green spinach, celery, extra virgin olive oil, and walnuts. Not only is this purée healthy, (I also substituted milk for heavy cream!), but it is easy to make and delicious.
As the flavors are rich, I like to serve this as a first course. It also pairs nicely with simply prepared ham, lamb and chicken.
2 pounds fresh spinach or two 10-ounce packages of frozen, chopped spinach
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 leek, thoroughly cleaned, white part only, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons sweet butter
2 Tablespoons flour
2 ounces Roquefort cheese (or any blue-veined cheese)
¼ cup roasted walnuts, chopped
1. Wash and steam spinach with a small amount of water in a skillet. Drain and chop. Set aside.
2. Put olive oil in the skillet. When heated, add celery and leeks and sauté until light brown. Remove skillet from heat.
3. Make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add flour and stir for several minutes until mixture is completely integrated and golden brown in color.
4. Add in milk, and with a whisk, stir until mixture is thickened and smooth, 5-7 minutes.
5. In the meantime, add the Roquefort and spinach to the skillet with the sautéed celery and leeks and stir together.
6. Add the sauce to this and mix thoroughly. Reheat for 1-2 minutes.
7. Serve in individual ramekins and top with walnuts.
Wine recommendations: Alsatian Riesling, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, Frescati and a dry sparkling wine.