My parents did not only get a starter for their menu, but also a main dish. (Did you miss the last post? You can find our three course menu starter here.) It’s more work than the starter, but it’s worth it. Spinach Polenta Strudel with Tomato Sauce.
You should start preparing it some hours before your guests arrive.
First, make strudel dough. You need:
200 g flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
about 100 ml lukewarm water
Heap the flour in a bowl, form a well in the middle and put the oil, the egg and salt in it. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and knead it – Put about 100 ml water bit by bit in (Probably you don’t have to use all of it!) until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Form a ball, brush it with some oil and put it in a bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm place for at least half an hour. (It’s very important for an elastic dough to rest and that is why we start with the dough.)
Then, make the tomato sauce so it can cook and be great after some hours. Use your favourite recipe. Mine consists of an onion, two cloves of garlic, basil, thyme, two cans of peeled tomatoes and spices.
And now, the spinach polenta filling for the strudels. (It’s in my absolute favourite of all cookbooks: Österreich Vegetarisch.) You need:
250 ml milk
1/2 garlic clove
salt and nutmeg
60 g polenta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 kg fresh spinach (or, as in my case, 500 g frozen spinach)
1 tablespoon sour cream (I took a bit more)
Boil up the milk with salt, a pinch of nutmeg and chopped garlic. Slowly add the polenta and stir for some minutes until you have a thick mush. (I had to add a bit water because it got too thick.)
In another pot, heat up the olive oil, put in the spinach. Season with salt and a pinch of nutmeg and let it steam a bit. Let it cool for a while.
Then, add spinach to the polenta and mix thoroughly. Stir in sour cream.
(You could also prepare the tomato sauce and the filling much earlier to prevent stress on the day of the menu.)
Now let’s get back to the dough again. Roll it out like this: Flour a dishtowel very thoroughly with flour (Everywhere, otherwhise, the dough will stick.), put the dough ball on it and press it a bit flat. Then roll it out with a heavy rolling pin until you can see the pattern of the dishtowel clearly through. It has to be very, very thin.
For 4 little spinach polenta strudels, cut the dough evenly into four pieces. Put the spinach polenta filling on it and spread it evenly.
Now, roll it up! Be careful, you don’t want the dough to get torn. Close them up on the sides – I made little candy wrappers.
Preheat the oven to 190° C (370° F) – I would recommend to do this before your guests arrive.
Put the strudels in the oven shortly before serving the starter and bake for 30 minutes until evenly browned.
Serve with a big scoop of tomato sauce and enjoy!