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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Rosie Birkett

Rosie Birkett’s recipes for spinach and potato frittata and pepper and baked feta salad

Rosie Birkett's red pepper and baked feta salad with walnuts.
Rosie Birkett’s red pepper and baked feta salad with walnuts. Photograph: Ola O Smit/The Guardian. Food stylist: Sam Dixon. Prop stylist: Anna Wilkins. Food styling assistant: Louise Cassidy.

This frittata is inspired by the classic combination of onion and potato in the much-loved Spanish tortilla, but with the added ease of not needing to flip it out on to a plate and turn it over. It’s a winner for a communal lunch, and works beautifully made ahead and left to settle. I love serving these two dishes together, because the salad elevates the frittata from something very delicious but reasonably standard into a lunch that’s worth sharing with mates – like a pair of really jazzy earrings worn with jeans and a T-shirt.

Red pepper and baked feta salad with walnuts (pictured top)

Prep 5 min
Cook 45 min
Rest 30 min
Serves 4 as a side

4 red peppers – romano for preference
Olive oil
1 x 200g slab feta
1/2 tsp
coriander seeds
1 big pinch pul biber flakes
50g walnuts, roasted (do this while the oven is heating up)

For the dressing
15g coriander, finely chopped
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp
olive oil
A big pinch of sea salt

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 and line a large roasting tin with baking paper. Put the peppers in the tray and coat them with a wisp of olive oil, rubbing it all over. Rub the feta with a little olive oil, too, then nestle it in the middle of the peppers and scatter the coriander seeds and pul biber over the cheese. Roast on a high shelf for 25 minutes, until the peppers are soft and fragrant and the feta is slightly caramelised and custardy.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then peel the peppers and discard the stems, seeds and pith (don’t worry if some seeds stick around). Holding the peppers over a bowl to collect any juices, tear the flesh into lengths and drop these into the bowl with the juices.

Whisk all the dressing ingredients, then check the seasoning and add more lemon or salt accordingly. Pour over the peppers and leave to sit for at least half an hour, so all the flavours to mingle

Tumble out on to a platter, tear over the roast feta, top with the toasted walnuts. and serve.

Spinach and potato frittata

Rosie Birkett’s spinach and potato frittata.
Rosie Birkett’s spinach and potato frittata. Photograph: Ola O Smit/The Guardian. Food stylist: Sam Dixon. Prop stylist: Anna Wilkins.

I love to add some greens in the form of spinach, which I always have in the freezer, if not fresh; you could also use herbs such as parsley, lovage or whatever you might have to hand.

Prep 5 min
Cook 1 hr, plus resting
Serves 4

250g frozen spinach
Salt and pepper
8 medium-sized new potatoes
50ml olive oil
3 small brown onions
, peeled and sliced
6 medium eggs

Boil a full kettle and put the spinach in a sieve set over a pan big enough to hold the potatoes – you’re going to kill two birds with one stone here. Pour the boiling water over the spinach, to defrost it, then lift off the sieve of spinach and set aside. Generously salt the boiling water that’s drained into the pan, then add the potatoes and boil for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Drain, cool and cut into 1-2cm discs.

Put the oil in a medium, nonstick skillet or frying pan on a medium heat, then fry the potatoes for about five minutes, until lightly golden all over. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl with a slotted spoon, then add the sliced onions and a big pinch of salt to the hot oil in the pan and cook, stirring regularly, for 10-15 minutes, until caramelised and sweet. Transfer to the potato bowl, mix, then leave to cool. Meanwhile, squeeze the excess liquid out of the spinach.

Crack the eggs into a second bowl and whisk with a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of black pepper. Add the potato and onion mix, stir to combine, then leave to sit and infuse for five minutes.

Slide the spinach into the residual oil in the potato and onion pan, turning to coat it well so it won’t stick to the pan when you make the frittata; add a splash more oil, if need be. Spread out the spinach over the base of the pan, then turn the heat to medium and pour in the egg mixture. Shake the pan or use a spatula to even out the frittata mix, and so the potatoes sit in a layer, then leave to cook for two minutes. Turn the grill to its highest setting, then grill the top of the frittata until golden and set to your liking (I like it a bit gooey in the middle).

Remove from the grill, leave to settle for at least 10 minutes, then flip out on to a chopping board, slice and serve.

Rosie Birkett is a food writer and author of the newsletter A Lot On Her Plate

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