When it's no longer Winter but not yet Spring - a spinach and rabe crumble to satisfy cravings of warmth and freshness alike

I'm in no way a vegetarian - I do love my meat so much, especially game! - but I am always cooking meat free recipes for quick lunches. One of my favourite things to eat is a mix of rabe and spinach that has been gently cooked on a pan with good olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and a hint of lemon. I can have this as a meal, with a bowl of soup as starters, or use it as a side dish to go with either meat or fish or anything else, really. It's quite versatile, and it is very palatable. There's just something about the mix of the rabe and spinach leaves and lemon that gets my tastebuds singing!

So when recently I was thinking of something to cook for a quick lunch for two, my mind started concoting a recipe in my head, as I sat down to work at my laptop. I had spinach and rabe in the freezer - always have those! - and I had eggs and cheese and milk, I had flour and butter as well, and all of a sudden my mouth was watering with the thought of a spinach and rabe crumble. And I mean literally watering. The way I saw it in my mind had all the right pieces to hit all the right places with me. So what if my son didn't like it, I could always make something else for him? But the moment I described the dish to the kid, he was game. He's amazing like that, always quite ready to try my crazy ideas!!

See, I never baked a crumble before. When I was in Manchester I did have fruit crumbles, not often, I was more into bread and butter puds, trifles and mince pies than crumbles, but I had one or two cooked for me. I never did cook one myself, as I said, I'm more into other things, mainly I am so much more into savoury dishes than sweets. But it is something that has stayed in the back of my mind for so many years, the thought of a crumble, the idea of a savoury crumble actually. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to give it a try. I researched a few crumble recipes, both sweet and savoury, but eventually came up with my idea of what I wanted it to be like.

This is the kind of dish that is actually quite light and airy. It doesn't make one feel bloated nor anything, but it will give a sense of comfort to your tummy. It's kind of a transitional comfort food dish, perfect for late Winter going into early Spring - did I mention that the tree that sits outside my living room window is currently blooming with bright green foliage, as if Spring had really sprung? It is and what a sight to be seen, as I sit here tapping away and occasionaly gazing at it, whilst listening to the chirping of those birds sitting on its branches! So if you're looking for a dish that is still warm, as the days are cold, but seems light as only Spring can be, this is the one for you. Give it a try!

Recipe for two small sized ramekins:
  • frozen spinach - one portion, allow to defrost
  • frozen rabe - one portion, allow to defrost
  • one very small onion, finelly chopped
  • one garlic clove, finelly diced
  • a scatter of breadcrumbs
  • one small knob of butter
  • one small espresso sized cup with flour and rolled oats - I used buckwheat flour
  • one large egg
  • one small espresso sized cup of milk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
  • olive oil
  • drizzle of lemon juice
  • grana padano cheese, grated
Start by turning on the oven and 180º and grease two small sized ramekins. On a sauté pan, heat up the olive oil and sauté the onion and the garlic on it. Add the spinach and the rabe and allow to cook. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice. Reserve. On a small bowl beat up the egg with the milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Reserve. On another bowl mix the flour, the oats and the scatter of breadcrumbs together with a small knob of butter, rubbing everything together until it all resembles sand, or crumbs. In the ramekins place the divided rabe and spinach mix, cover with the egg and milk mix and scatter on top the flour, crumbs and oat mix. Drizzle qith some grated cheese and bake in the oven until the egg mixture has set and the crumble is golden. Take it off the oven and scatter a handfull of freshly grated cheese over it, serving while it's still warm. Hope you enjoy!!


  1. Thanks for the awesome recipe, this looks delicious!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  2. ui, que estes ramekins estão com um aspeto bestial! adorei a receita, nunca fiz nada do género, mas já está na lista de "experimentações"
    votos de um ótimo fim de semana, pelo vistos com chuva, outra vez! :(!

    1. experimenta, fica super boooom. Podes usar n combinações, outros vegetais, ou mesmo com carne ou peixe deve ficar nhaaaaaam!!

  3. ahhahah q sorte!! a minha mãe n partilhava cmg essas coisas.. olha a comida aparecia na mesa e pronto. sua carnivoraaaaaaaaaa CARNE CARNE CARNE. estou a brincar <3 eu sei q até TU, amante de carne, vês encantos infinitos nos vegetais

    1. POis, a minha mãe tb n, e hoje em dia ainda diz que eu cozinho mal looool!! Adoro carne, e peixe, n nego, mas n consigo n ter vegetais a acompanhar a carne e o peixe, sempe. Mais depressa como a carne ou o peixe c feijão verde, broculos, espinafres, ervilhas, do que com arroz, ou massa. Adoro vegetais.

  4. Ai que eu não tava a perceber que isso era grelos! Adoro espinafres e fui aprendendo a gostar de grelos (a culpada era a minha mãe que não os sabia temperar!). Essa receita tem um aspecto super gostoso e tá mesmo gira nesses recipientes :)

    1. é um mix de grelos com espinafres. eu nos grelos acho obrigatório usar bom azeite, limão ou vinho branco, sal e pimenta preta. a pimenta preta para mim faz toda a diferença.


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