Gluten Free Spinach & Ricotta Roulade

Submitted by Matt Golinski | Print this page
A butternut squash sponge with a lemon-spiked spinach and ricotta filling


  • 1 kg butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 60 g whole blanched almonds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 80 g Parmesan cheese
  • 60 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 300 g baby spinach
  • 100 g crumbly goat's cheese
  • 150 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 fresh red chilli
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375ºF/gas 5. Line a shallow baking tin (roughly 22cm x 32cm) with greaseproof paper.

Carefully halve the squash, scoop out and discard the seeds (there’s no need to peel it), then chop into rough 3cm wedges. Place into a large roasting tray with a splash of olive oil, the chilli flakes and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bash and add the garlic cloves to the tray, then pop in the hot oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender.

Meanwhile, place a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the almonds, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden (keep an eye on them!), then bash well in a pestle and mortar.

Take the squash out of the oven (keep the oven on for later). Scoop the flesh into a food processor and discard the skin. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins, add to the processor, then whiz to a smooth purée.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites into two large bowls. Grate the Parmesan over the yolks, then stir in the squash purée, flour, a good grating of nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl then carefully fold it into the squash mixture. Transfer to the lined tin, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until set and springy.

Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the spinach and cook for around 2 minutes until wilted. Leave to cool, squeeze out the excess moisture, then finely chop.

Turn out the roulade onto a large piece of greaseproof paper. Carefully peel away and discard the top layer of greaseproof paper. Crumble the goat’s cheese into a bowl, then add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice. Deseed, finely chop and add the chilli, stir well, then season to taste. Spread the mixture over the sponge, leaving a rough 2cm gap along one of the longest edges. Scatter over the spinach and one-third of the almonds.

Starting at the longest edge with no filling, carefully roll up the sponge, using the greaseproof paper to help you. Scatter over the remaining nuts, then carve into thick slices and serve straight away with a fresh green salad.

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