Silverbeet and ricotta pancakes

Silverbeet is still growing beautifully, and the new seasons seedling plants are growing apace.

Make use of this nutritious vegetable with a delicious Italian style filling for pancakes or pasta.

I've adapted this from a pasta recipe of Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. If you make your own pasta, this filling is delicious rolled in a sheet of fresh hand made pasta tied at intervals with string, then poached in boiling water and sliced.

Otherwise, a lacy, thin crepe/pancake mix is a delicious alternative.

Finish the dish off with sage butter.

Ingredients:

20g butter

1/2 onion, peeled and finely chopped

a handful of fresh marjoram or parsley

9 leaves of fresh silverbeet, washed, blanched or steamed lightly and chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

20g reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (www.goldencreekolives.com.au)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

225g fresh mushrooms, coarsely sliced

300g fresh ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon walnuts, toasted and chopped

65g parmesan freshly grated

nutmeg

To serve

extra grated parmesan

Sage Butter (see below)

Heat the butter and fry the onion gently until soft. Add the marjoram/parsley and silver beet. Stir to combine flavours, then cool.

Drain the dried porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Wash them to remove any grit. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic gently for a few minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and porcini, adding a little of the porcini liquid from time to time, to make the mushrooms moist but not wet. Season and leave to cool.

Put ricotta into a bowl, add spinach mixture, mushroom mixture, chopped walnuts and a generous amount of nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sage Butter

Heat butter gently until it melts. When very hot, add a handful of sage and cook for a few seconds until the butter browns and the sage leaves become crisp. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place a tablespoon or two of the mixture onto one side of a thin crepe and fold over.

Top with sage butter and two or three sage leaves.

Serve with a green salad of mixed lettuce and rocket leaves.

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