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I love collecting new recipes as well as cooking and sharing my own favourites. I’ve commented before that many of our family recipe names include the name of the giver, and that I love how each time you recreate a dish it also recreates memories, and the connections between people that make sharing food such a powerful activity. I also love collecting ideas for different ways of serving and sharing food as well as the recipes themselves.

I first tried these courtesy of my lovely MIL, Robyn, she of the Christmas cake and pasties, on one of my first Christmases spent with Mr GP and his family (before he was even Mr GP). As I said above, I love the different ways people share food, their food culture (to circle back to the origin of this blog) so I was absolutely charmed that Robyn had made these, not as part of a huge celebratory meal, or in fact any meal, but just to have some delicious morsels in the fridge for lunches or snacks. My family loves eating together and sharing food, and planning elaborate menus, but can sometimes <ahem> forget about the day to day when in the midst of holiday plans to feed a houseful.

To turn to the recipes themselves then, these are both mini tart/frittata-ish things, but the spinach ones are a much denser and cheese heavy morsel, similar to the filling of a spanakopita, while the sweet potato one is more like a quiche filling. Most of you have probably tried a spinach and ricotta or feta pastry or similar, but you may not have tried sweet potato and sage – if not, I really encourage you to, as the earthy herbal flavour of the sage is such a great contrast to the soft and sweet potato. They’re lovely served together, and both last well in the fridge for up to five days, so are a great entertaining standby.

Ricotta, spinach and Parmesan mini tarts

  • 500g ricotta
  • 50g sour cream (1/3 c)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • freshly grated nutmeg, scant 1/4 tsp
  • 500g frozen spinach
  • 20g finely grated Parmesan (1/2 c)
  • 25g slivered almonds (1/4 c)
  • 3 large sprigs dill (about 2 Tbs chopped)

Tip spinach into a sieve to defrost, preferably overnight, but at least several hours before. Otherwise defrost in the microwave. Once defrosted, press into the sieve to press out excess water.

Preheat oven to 160C (with fan). Combine ricotta, sour cream and egg in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add pepper, salt, and nutmeg, and stir together. Make sure spinach is well squeezed, then add to the ricotta with the parmesan. Toast the almonds (I pop in the preheating oven for 10 minutes), and stir in with the chopped dill.

Spoon into muffin cups, either well greased, or lined with a paper or silicon liner. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the tray half way, until tarts are firm and just going golden round the edges. These won’t brown fully because of the high proportion of spinach, so pressing lightly is the best way to check they’re done.

Turn out onto a rack and cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 12

Sweet potato and sage frittatas

  • 500g sweet potato
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 15g finely grated Parmesan (1/3 c)
  • 2 large sprigs sage leaves

Preheat oven to 190C (fan forced). Peel and dice sweet potato into approximately 2cm cubes. Toss with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt, and roast for about 20 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Remove and leave to cool.

Lower oven temperature to 160C. Whisk together eggs, cream, pepper, parmesan, and four large finely shredded sage leaves. Pour into muffin cups, either well greased, or lined with a paper or silicon liner. Divide sweet potato evenly between cups, and top each with a few small sage leaves. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray half way, until frittatas are firm and light golden.

Cool in the tin for five minutes, then gently turn out onto a rack and cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 12