Friday, August 31, 2012

Cannelloni with Spring Greens

Adapted from  a terrific eBook Laurent Gras - My Provence

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 25 min according to Laurent, but it took me over an hour all told and it's definitely not a "whip up a quick middle of the week dish, but it is awesome!  Your guests will never look at you the same again.
Cooking time:10 minutes
Serves 4

Cannelloni Filling:
⅓ cup  extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ lb/300g mesclun, washed and spun dry ( I used a mix of baby arugula and Swiss Chard, ribs removed)
¾ lb/300g baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp fresh ricotta
½ cup/40g/1.4oz finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other hard grating cheese
Some shavings of a whole nutmeg
Freshly ground white pepper
Sea salt
7 tbsp/100g/3.5oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled ( only used half)
1 cup /100g/3.5oz  grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Sea salt
24 (square) wonton wrappers
Cannelloni filling, from above
Salad greens:
Laurent has a wonderful au jus dressing, but I ran out of time and just tossed some baby spinach with a thinly sliced shallot and a drizzle of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Cannelloni filling:
1. Pour half of the olive oil into a large sauté pan set over high heat. Add the greens and spinach and cook until they are just wilted.

2. Transfer to a mesh strainer and use the back of a large spoon to press out the juices. Scatter the cooked greens on a plate and set in the refrigerator to cool quickly. 

3.  When chilled, chop very fine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the egg yolk, the remaining olive oil, the ricotta, and the Parmigiano. Season with freshly ground nutmeg, white pepper, and sea salt. 

4. Refrigerate until needed.

1. This prep step is very important:  Brush a gratin dish with some of the melted butter. Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice water. Clean a smooth work surface, such as a wooden cutting board or counter, and sprinkle it with some of the grated Parmigiano to make an even dusting. 

2. Bring about 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a saucepan. Drop 3 or 4 wonton wrappers in the boiling water, let cook for 30 seconds, then with a skimmer or large slotted spoon, carefully lift the pasta out of the water and shock immediately in the ice water. 

3. Remove the wrappers from the water and drape them on the rim of the ice water bowl to let the water drain. (Don’t let them sit on the bowl too long or they will stick.) 

4. Place the wrappers on the bed of Parmigiano to coat the underside. Spoon the filling along one end of the wrapper, from one side to the other. 
5. Roll the wrappers over the filling to enclose it and create the cannelloni. Trim the ends with a chef’s knife so the filling is flush with the edge (I admit it... I didn't bother with that). 

6. Transfer to the gratin dish and repeat with the remaining wrappers.  Brush some melted butter over the cannelloni. Sprinkle with additional Parmigiano.  Alternately you can use fresh pasta dough.

7. Preheat a broiler. Heat the cannelloni under the broiler until the cheese begins to brown. 

8.  While the cannelloni is browning, just place the dressed salad greens on the center of each plate and once the cannelloni is golden, place a few of them over the greens and serve.  It's a great appetizer with 3 or a light supper with more of everything.  

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