Spinach and salmon timbales

    1 hour 10 min

    Ideal for a dinner party first course, these attractive timbales are surprisingly easy to make. Layers of spinach and lasagne enclose a creamy filling of ricotta cheese and fresh salmon, and the timbales are served with a fresh herb sauce. Crisp Melba toast will complement the tender texture.

    8 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 5 sheets fresh lasagne, about 100 g (3 1/2 oz) in total
    • 250 g (9 oz) spinach, trimmed
    • 115 g (4 oz) ricotta cheese
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • a little grated nutmeg
    • 170 g (6 oz) salmon fillet, skinned
    • 2 tsp chopped fresh fennel or dill
    • grated zest of 1/2 lime
    • salt and pepper
    • fresh fennel or dill to garnish (optional)
    • Herb sauce
    • 15 g (1/2 oz) butter
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • 2 tsp lime juice
    • 3 tbsp chopped mixed fresh chives, parsley, thyme and marjoram
    • 2 tbsp single cream

    Prep:50min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Cook the lasagne in boiling water for 3–5 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain on a clean tea-towel, in a single layer, then cut each sheet of lasagne in half lengthways.
    2. Rinse the spinach and place in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over a moderately high heat for 2–3 minutes (the water clinging to the leaves will provide enough moisture). Shake the pan occasionally so that the spinach cooks evenly. Drain well. Use 4 large leaves to line 4 lightly oiled 175 ml (6 fl oz) ramekin dishes. Chop the remaining spinach and set aside.
    3. Lay 2 lasagne strips in each spinach-lined ramekin, overlapping them in a cross shape. Leave excess pasta hanging over the edge.
    4. Mix half the ricotta cheese with the chopped spinach. Add half of the beaten egg, the nutmeg and seasoning to taste, and mix thoroughly.
    5. Cut the salmon into 1 cm (1/2 in) dice and mix with the remaining ricotta cheese and beaten egg. Stir in the fennel or dill, grated lime zest and seasoning to taste until thoroughly combined. Divide the salmon mixture evenly among the ramekins.
    6. Cut the remaining 2 strips of pasta across in half and lay a piece in each ramekin, pressing it in neatly on top of the salmon mixture. Spoon the spinach mixture into the dishes and fold the overhanging pasta strips over the top. Cut out 4 pieces of foil and brush them lightly with oil, then use them to cover the ramekin dishes. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
    7. Meanwhile, make the herb sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the milk and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the lime juice, herbs, cream and seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat.
    8. Run a flat-bladed knife around the edges of the dishes to loosen the timbales. Cover each one with a plate, invert and lift off the dish. Pour the herb sauce around, garnish with fennel or dill, if using, and serve.

    Some more ideas

    For a light lunch, serve the timbales with a generous side salad of cucumber and watercress and additional pasta. Cut a further 8 sheets of lasagne into fine strips. Cut 1 large carrot and 1 large leek into fine strips. Cook the shredded pasta and vegetables together in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and serve hot. * If you do not have ramekin dishes, layer the sheets of lasagne and the spinach and salmon mixtures in one large container, such as a soufflé dish (do not line the dish with spinach leaves; chop all the spinach and use in the filling). Bake for an extra 10 minutes.

    Plus points

    Spinach provides good amounts of several antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. It also offers carotenoid compounds and substantial amounts of B vitamins, including folate, niacin and B6.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B6, B12, E, niacin * C, folate * calcium, iron

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