I have always had a thing for cheese… and Italy, like France, is the cheese lovers’ paradise. There are so many different cheeses and they vary from region to region (and sometimes from town to town!). You could spend years tasting all of them. And I like them all. Hahahaha Taleggio is very high on my like list, second only to gorgonzola. It is a soft cow’s milk cheese made in and named after the Taleggio Valley in the Italian Alps. It has a very strong aroma, but it is mild in flavour and it is great to make anything with melted oozing cheese. You get the picture, right? Today I want to share with you a recipe for a savoury strudel filled with Taleggio, spinach and pears. All these work beautifully together and this dish makes an elegant vegetarian appetiser or lunch idea. It is great eaten with a salad or on its own. Enjoy!
Spinach, Pear and Taleggio Strudel
Spinach, Pear and Taleggio Strudel - the recipe for a scrumptious savoury strudel filled with spinach, pear and Taleggio cheese.
- 150 gms – 5.3 oz. flour
- 1 egg
- 150 gms – 5.3 oz. spinach weighed before cooking
- 2 small to medium pears peeled and chopped
- 150 gms – 5.3 oz. Taleggio cheese chopped
- 30 gms – 1 oz. butter
- 40 gms – 1.4 oz. breadcrumbs
- 1 garlic clove
- 20 gms – 0.7 oz. pine nuts
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Put the flour, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, the egg, a pinch of salt and 50 ml – 1.7 oz. of lukewarm water in an electric mixer and mix until combined. Then knead well with your hands until you get a smooth dough.
Sauté the garlic and the pine nuts in a pan with half the butter.
Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
Melt the remaining half butter over low heat, add the breadcrumbs and roast them for a few minutes, until all the butter has been absorbed and the breadcrumbs have turned a golden brown.
Roll the dough on baking paper into a very thin sheet (the thinner the better).
Dust it with the breadcrumbs, top it with the spinach and pear mix and the chopped Taleggio.
Fold the edges inwards on top of the filling, so that it does not come out. Then, gently lift the edge of the baking paper and roll the strudel with it without touching it with your hands. You have to roll it along the longer side, so it will be long and thin (and not the other way around!). Lift it and gently put it onto a baking tray.
Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C – 430°F for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.