Dinner in 40 Minutes

Spinach Cheese Burritos

4 to 5 servings

Whenever these burritos with the creamy spinach filling are on the menu at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, N.Y., patrons ask for the recipe. So the vegetarian collective has included the recipe, along with a spicy tomato sauce, in its newest cookbook. The sauce can be made while the burritos are in the oven, or substitute your favorite salsa.

Adapted from "Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers," by the Moosewood Collective (Clarkson Potter, 2005).

For the burritos:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts chopped

3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

10 cups (about 10 ounces) loosely packed fresh baby spinach, stemmed

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Generous pinch of nutmeg (optional)

3 cups lightly packed grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces)

1/3 cup cream cheese

8 to 10 flour tortillas (7- or 8-inch)

For the blender tomato hot sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped


1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

One 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick oil spray.

For the burritos: In a large skillet on medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the scallions, garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the coriander, nutmeg, if desired, grated cheese and cream cheese. Remove from the heat.

To keep the tortillas from cracking, place them on a baking sheet (overlapping is fine) and heat them in the oven for a minute or two.

Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling on the lower half of a warm tortilla, fold the bottom up and the sides in to encase the filling, roll it up and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. When all the tortillas are ready, brush the tops with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until hot, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the blender tomato hot sauce: In a heavy saucepan or skillet over high heat, heat the oil until it is almost smoking. Add the onion, bell pepper and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the bell pepper is blistered and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, stirring to combine, and remove from the heat.

Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the tomatoes and puree.

Return the sauce to the pan and add the cilantro, if desired, and salt to taste. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, partially covering the pan to avoid splatters.

Serve the burritos topped with the blender tomato hot sauce.

Per serving (based on 5): 560 calories, 23 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 35 g fat, 69 mg cholesterol, 16 g saturated fat, 702 mg sodium, 10 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Marcia Kramer; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

-- Marcia Kramer

SHOPPING CART | Increase Your Cheese IQ

* Bayley Hazen (Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, Vt.): Named for two Revolutionary War-era generals who built the Hazen Military Road, a semi-firm raw cow's milk blue cheese whose Pencillium roquefortii is less "stingy" than other blue cheeses. Pair with dessert wines such as a tawny port. $16.99 per pound. To order, call Murray's Cheese, 212-243-3289 or go to www.murrayscheese.com.

* Trade Lake Cedar (Love Tree Farmstead, Grantsburg, Wis.): Firm, aromatic sheep's-milk cheese with a silky texture and woodsy undertone. It's aged on boughs of cedar in a "fresh-air" cave. Pair with Burgundy, California syrah, California zinfandel or champagne. $20 per pound; minimum order quarter-wheel (about 1.5 pounds). To order, call 715-488-2966 or go to www.lovetreefarmstead.com.

* Constant Bliss (also from Jasper Hill Farm): Named for the settler who guarded the Hazen Military Road in 1781. A semi-soft raw cow's milk cheese shaped in short conical cylinders. Pair with full-flavored wines and less-acidic ones, such as chardonnay, chenin blanc, cabernet sauvignon blend, pinot noir, Sangiovese-merlot and champagne-style blanc de blanc. $8.99 per quarter-pound buttons. Also from Murray's Cheese.

* Thomasville Tomme (Sweet Grass Dairy, Thomasville, Ga.): In the manner of Alpine-style tomme cheeses. A semi-firm, aged raw cow's milk cheese with a slightly dryish yet buttery mouthfeel. Pair with medium- to full-bodied red wines such as Bordeaux (cabernet sauvignon blend) or Burgundy (pinot noir). $10 per pound. To order, call 229-227-0752 or go to www.sweetgrassdairy.com.

* Fiscalini Bandage Cheddar (Fiscalini Farms, Modesto, Calif., not pictured): Firm, 18-month-old raw cow's-milk cheese, wrapped in cheesecloth, with a crumbly texture and nutty, slightly smoky taste. Pair with Gewuerztraminer, barbaresco, barolo, syrah, or brut champagne. $18 per pound; minimum order 1/2 pound. To order, call 800-610-3476 or go to www.fiscalinicheese.com.

PROPER TREAT | Duchy Originals

With the much-anticipated arrival today of Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, a nice cookie for tea time is in order. The natural choice is Duchy Originals, the organic food brand founded by the prince in 1992. The Oaten, Lemon, Orange, Ginger and Shortbread cookies (about $8.50 for 8.8 ounces) are made with stone-ground oats and wheat and are harvested at Charles's Highgrove country estate and surrounding Duchy Home Farm, where he practices sustainable agriculture. Profits from sales are donated to the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation.

Duchy Originals are available at Dean & Deluca, 3276 M St. NW, 202-342-2500; Fishery Seafood Market, 5509 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-686-1068: British Collection, 119 S. Royal St., Alexandria, 703-836-8181; British Pantry, 41153 John Mosby Hwy., Aldie, 703-327-3215; and some Whole Foods stores.

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TURKEY TROUBLESHOOTING: There's one week left to send us your Thanksgiving questions. We will run answers in the Nov. 16 and Nov. 20 editions of Food.

Send us your questions by e-mail to food@ washpost.com, by phone at 202-334-7575 or during our weekly online chat at 1 p.m. Wednesdays. Questions will be answered in our Thanksgiving issues on Nov. 16 and Nov. 20. Please include your name and phone number so we can contact you. Questions due by Nov. 9.


THURSDAY: Brat Night -- bratwurst tastings with accordion music and polka dancing at That Custard Place in Del Ray. Free admission. 6-10 p.m. 2310 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Call 703-683-7767 or see www.thatcustardplace.com.

THURSDAY: Barboursville Vineyard wine dinner at Extra Virgin. $65 excludes tip. 7:30 p.m. 4053 S. 28th St., Arlington. Call 703-998-8474.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Ethnic food festival at St. Mark Orthodox Church. Free admission. Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday noon-4 p.m. 7124 River Rd., Bethesda. Call 301-229-6300 or see www.stmarkoca.org.


NOV. 9: "A French Wine Affaire" -- tasting of wines from each region in France. $45 per person before Monday; $55 after that includes buffet and selection of French cheeses. Featured brands include Louis Latour, Jadot, Guigal, Chapoutier, Gosset and Heidsieck Monopole. 6 to 9 p.m. La Maison Francaise (at the French Embassy), 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. Call 202-944-6389 or see www.frenchwinesociety.org.

-- Terri Sapienza

PLEASE NOTE: Send notices to: To Do, Food, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or food@washpost.com. Submissions must be received at least 14 days before publication date.