Life In LC

Spinach Souffle

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52 weeks of baking – Earth Day

I appreciate the change of the seasons and the changes it makes to our eating routine; I like to cook seasonally while I season my food at sea.

As an occasional gardener and a hopeful homesteader I know what vegetables thrive during what season. To me spring screams for tender sweet greens, that of spinach, peas and leeks. Along with the change of vegetable choices the weather also has a hand in deciding the style of foods we eat. In winter we are cold and desire hot heavy foods to fill our bellies. As the cold recedes and the sun shines more I search for lighter foods with crisper flavors.

And what brings more lightness to a dish than that of egg whites whipped into a frothy meringue.

My spinach soufflé has a silky smooth interior that is a vibrant green, not the usual murky green of sautéed spinach, the addition of peas helps insure a brighter color. The parmesan that lines the dish makes for a crispy crust and an additional layer of flavor for a more complex dish. This must be eaten right away, within minutes the soufflé will start to deflate and will loose all it’s height before you finish eating one portion. Make sure that those you are sharing this soufflé are waiting for the soufflé, the soufflé will not wait on you.

 












Spinach Souffle


Ingredients

  • butter
  • grated parmesan

Bechamel

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Spinach

  • 1/4 of an onion, chopped
  • 4 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1/4 c peas
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. sherry
  • 4 egg yolks, reserve the whites

Merinuge

  • 7 egg whites, about 3/4 c
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

Directions

  1. Grease a 9×9 casserole dish with butter and dust with parmesan cheese, set aside. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Bechamel

  1. In a small pot melt the butter, whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes until the flour is browned and it smells toasty. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking to reduce clumps, add the mustard, pepper and salt and cook till the mixture has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, set aside to cool.

Spinach

  1. In a large pan sauté the the onion with a pinch of salt until softened, add in the spinach tearing it up as you go, cook until wilted. Scrape the mixture into a mesh sieve and push out any liquid. You are hoping to end up with about a cup of spinach mixture, add the peas for a total of 1 ¼ cups of vegetables.
  2. Puree the veggies in a food processor with the sour cream, sherry and egg yolks until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, the the béchamel and mix well.

Meringue

  1. Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with the salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the spinach mixture a 1/3rd at a time, I like to use a whisk to start the processes and finish with a rubber spatula. Leave no trails of white.
  2. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared pan placing the bowl as close to the bottom to prevent knocking out any air, gently smooth the surface.
  3. Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out and it has risen 1-2 inches. Eat immediately!

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