Spinach, ricotta and pine-nut stuffed chicken

Our kitchen garden cook reveals some delicious recipes using spinach.

Whether it’s bought or homegrown, I definitely favour baby spinach as I always struggle to remove the grit from the other varieties. This week’s recipe looks and tastes fantastic, but it couldn’t be simpler.

Spinach, ricotta and pine-nut stuffed chicken with spinach salad (serves 4)

150g baby spinach, cooked
125g ricotta
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Toasted pine nuts
Zest of 1 lemon

4 chicken breasts

20g butter

100g fresh breadcrumbs
Crushed garlic
A handful of fresh parsley
75g halved walnuts
1tbspn honey
100g pomegranate seeds
115g baby-spinach leaves


Preheat your oven to 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/gas 4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the spinach, ricotta, crushed garlic cloves, seasoning, toasted pine nuts and lemon zest. Set aside.

Cover the four chicken breasts with clingfilm and flatten with a hammer, then season well. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the spinach mixture onto the chicken breasts and then roll them up. Secure each end with a toothpick.

Melt a little butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and then add the rolled chicken breasts. Brown them on all sides, removing and replacing the toothpicks as you go. Transfer them to an oven tray and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Scatter the breadcrumbs in the frying pan used to cook the chicken, adding a little butter if needed. Add the crushed garlic, fresh parsley and seasoning. Once lightly browned, remove to a bowl. Add the walnuts and honey to the pan. Cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes, so that the honey goes very sticky. Remove from the heat.

Add the spinach leaves to a bowl, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over them, add the walnuts, scatter with the pomegranate seeds and toss with the vinaigrette.

Remove the chicken from the oven and cut into slices. Serve with the salad.

More ways with spinach

Quick curried cauliflower with spinach
Heat oil in a pan and add cauliflower florets. Sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of curry powder. Add a crushed clove of garlic, a chopped red chilli and chicken stock to just cover. Add fresh spinach leaves and stir until wilted. Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt and stir well. Serve with brown rice.

MAR 23 Kitchen garden cook.inddMexican breakfast eggs
Chop a red onion and add to an ovenproof frying pan. Fry gently and add roasted red peppers and a tin of tomatoes, then mix well. Add spinach leaves and stir until they’re wilted. Make pockets in the mixture and then crack eggs into them. Put the pan into a moderate oven and cook until the egg whites have set. Serve with toast.

Lasagne crêpes (left)
Make simple crêpes using 200g plain flour, 4 eggs and 600ml milk. In a bowl, make a well of flour and drop in the eggs. Beat to incorporate the flour surrounding and mix in a little milk to make a paste. Add the milk a little at a time until you have a smooth batter. Fry the crêpes in a buttered frying pan and set them aside. You should end up with about 12 large crêpes. Using 350g Bolognese sauce and 350g white sauce, alternate the fillings as you layer the crêpes. End with the white sauce on top and then scatter grated Cheddar over the stack. Bake in a moderately hot oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Cut into wedges and serve with salad.