Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr 15 mins
Dietary guidance: v
- 4-5 large red peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 50g/2oz plain flour
- 50g/2oz butter
- 1 head of garlic (yes!!)
- 1 pint semi skimmed milk (approx 580ml)
- 200g/7oz grated parmesan
- 600g/21oz spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- pinch freshly grated (Sri Lankan!) nutmeg
- 125g/4oz fresh breadcrumbs or stuffing mix
- 40g/1 1/2 oz pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6
2. Halve, deseed and core the peppers, and put the pepper halves into a shallow baking dish. Add the oil and seasoning, and toss to make sure all the halves are fully coated in oil. Cut the top off the garlic head, nestle in among the peppers and drizzle over some oil. Roast for 35 mins, or until pepper halves are slightly charred and the garlic is starting to soften and caramelise. Remove the dish from the oven. Remove the garlic to cool, and set the dish of pepper halves aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 190C/Gas Mark 5
3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, and stir in the flour, and cook, whilst stirring for 1 min. Remove pan from the heat and add the milk, bit by bit, continually stirring. Return to the heat, and slowly bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Add half of the parmesan, season and stir. Set aside.
4. Steam the spinach until wilted.
5. Squeeze the cloves out of the roasted head of garlic, and roughly chop.
6. Arrange the steamed spinach on top of the peppers in the dish. Season with the freshly grated nutmeg and salt and pepper. Evenly spread the chopped garlic on top of the spinach. Top with the cheese sauce, and finish by sprinkling with the breadcrumbs (or stuffing mix), remaining parmesan and pine nuts.
7. Cook in the oven for 20 mins until bubbling and brown.