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Ceylon Spinach challenge

By February 7, 20113 Comments

Phil did it again and gave me a challenge to come up with recipes for Good Gardening with Graeme Stuart and Phil Dudman on ABC North Coast. This was a tough challenge as this style of spinach should not be cooked for too long otherwise the protein in the leaves break down and it becomes slimey.

Ceylon Spinach or Malabar Spinach

Ceylon Spinach (also known as Malabar Spinach) is a fantastic plant to grow in the summer to provide you with leafy greens from the garden when other favorites are out of season. If you want to know more about growing Ceylon Spinach ask Phil Dudman

These recipes are so easy to do and if you make a lot of pesto you can freeze it  Enjoy.

Ceylon Beef Salad with Malabar Pesto

Serves 4-6

Malabar Pesto

Makes 1 cup

1 cup Ceylon spinach leaves, tightly packed (baby spinach leaves can also be used)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts, roasted

2 tablespoons shredded coconut, roasted

2 tablespoons coconut vinegar or white vinegar

1 long red chilli, sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

1/2 cup macadamia oil or peanut oil

Ceylon Beef Salad

600g fillet of beef

1 cos lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half

To make the pesto, place all the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and blend until finely chopped. With the motor running gradually add the oil until you have a thick pouring consistency.

Place the beef in a glass or ceramic dish and rub half the pesto all over. Place into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight. Place the remaining pesto in a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Remove the beef from the refrigerator 10 minutes before cooking. Heat a char-grill on a high heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and lightly wipe the remaining marinade off the beef with a damp paper towel.

Lightly brush the heated char-grill with extra macadamia or peanut oil and cook the fillet for about 15-25 minutes (depending on how hot the flames are and how thick the fillet is). Remove from the char-grill and cover with foil, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing.

While the meat is resting, on a large platter combine the lettuce and tomatoes and place the sliced beef on top. Serve with the remaining pesto.

Coconut Dahl with Ceylon Spinach

You can use all the Ceylon Spinach plant in this recipe, from the stems to the leaves.

Serves 6-8

200g red lentils, washed

4 large slices ginger slices

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

10 curry leaves

200mls coconut cream

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 brown onion, sliced

4 stems of Ceylon spinach stems, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon Garam Masala

1 cup Ceylon spinach leaves, finely chopped

Fried garlic to serve

Place the lentils into a medium sized saucepan with ginger, tumeric, salt and curry leaves and cover with 3 cups water.

Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered for 40 minutes or until the lentils have broken down and the mixture has reduced and thickened quite considerably.

Add the coconut cream and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened once more.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the oil on a medium-high heat and cook the onion for a few minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and the Garam Masala stir to coat the spices with the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes.

When the Dahl is cooked add the onion mixture and the Ceylon spinach and stir to combine. Place into a serving bowl an top with fried garlic.

Note: (fried garlic can be found in the Asian sections of supermarkets).


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