Super spring greens in April’s kitchen

Spring Greens should be fairly high on the list of super foods – trouble is it doesn’t look particularly gorgeous or appealing! It is just starting to come out of the veg plot though and it’s full of antioxidants, iron, minerals and fibre.

The dark green leaves are best eaten as young as possible and lightly steamed or boiled, or added to stir fries. Be careful not to overcook though as a lot of the high vitamin C content can be lost.

This dish makes them the star of the plate rather than just a side dish

Spring Green Cannelloni

Serves 2.  Takes about 45 minutes

Glug of olive oil

75g smoked pancetta (or some smoked streaky bacon, chopped)

1 small red onion, halved then thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1x 400ml can chopped tomatoes or a jar of passata

Approx 200g spring greens

S & P

4 sheets lasagne, (fresh is best)

125g goat’s cheese

50g parmesan cheese, grated


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the pancetta. Fry over a fairly high heat until crispy and brown. Remove from the pan leaving the oil behind. Put to one side.
  • Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic. Fry gently until softened. Add back the pancetta to the pan.
  • Pour in the passata and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the tomato juice reduced.
  • Spring green canneloni - add greens to tomato sauce
  • Separate the leaves of the spring greens and wash if necessary. Cut away any really thick and old bits of stalk then roll the leaves into a cigar shape. Slice into approximately 2cm strips, cutting through all the leaves together.
  • Add to the pan and coat in the sauce. Don’t worry if it looks a lot! Stir into the sauce until the spring greens are just starting to wilt.
  • If using dried lasagne, follow the packet instructions and soak or pre cook the sheets ready for use. Lay 4 sheets on a preparation board.
  • Place a good tablespoon of the spring green mixture on each sheet and spread out slightly, leaving some room at one end. You should aim to use about half the mixture.
  • Spring green canneloni - make rolls
  • Crumble the goat’s cheese and scatter three quarters of it over the sheets. Reserve about a quarter of the cheese for the topping.
  • Roll each sheet to form a tube and lay in the dish with the seam on the bottom. Spoon the rest of the tomato mixture around the sides of the dish.
  • Crumble over the rest of the goat’s cheese then scatter the parmesan on top, trying to cover as much of the pasta as possible
  • Cover with tinfoil then bake in the oven 190C/ fan170/ gas 5 for about 20 minutes. Take the foil off the dish half way.
  • Spring green canneloni - bake until golden brown

Serve with some garlic bread. This dish will reheat – but cover with foil to prevent the top from drying out.