We’ve grown a lot of spinach this Spring — which makes me really happy because I adore this veggie’s thick leaves and big crunch. I love how well it pairs with cheese and eggs and cream — and nutmeg. It’s wonderful in salads and sautés and smoothies. I honestly can’t imagine ever feeling tired of spinach. And if somehow I did, it freezes pretty easily too. But having a bumper crop meant I was able to try new ways of turning this lovely leaf into dinner. Enter: Spinach Swiss Soufflé. Think quiche or omelette but airier. There’s no crust, so it’s easy to make gluten-free. And soufflés get a bad rap for being finicky. As long as you’ve got an electric mixer, you’re fine. So, if you’re looking for something a little different, maybe a little fancy, give this a go and see if you’re as pleased with it as I was.
Makes 4 servings
Adapted from marthastewart.com
- 2 Tbsp. softened butter, plus more to grease baking dish(es)
- 5 cups packed fresh spinach, trimmed and washed (or 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed)
- 2 Tbsp. unbleached, all-purpose flour (for gluten-free version, choose almond or rice flour)
- 3/4 cups whole milk (local if you can get it)
- 1/2 cup packed Swiss cheese (can also choose gruyere or sharp cheddar)
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, separated, plus 2 additional egg whites
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 1 quart, tall-sided baking dish (or 4 1-cup-sized ramekins for individual servings) with butter. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or cast-iron Dutch oven, boil 2 Tbsp. water over medium high heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Strain out water and squeeze spinach to remove excess liquid.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture is heated through with no lumps. Add milk gradually, whisking constantly. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until cheese is melted. Stir in salt and pepper. Transfer into large bowl and set aside.
- In food processor, pulse spinach and egg yolks until mixture is coarsely pureed. Add 1/4 cup of soufflé base to the food processor. Pulse until blended. Stir spinach mixture into pan with rest of soufflé base.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 4 egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. (Do not over mix.) Gently fold half of the egg whites into the soufflé base, then carefully mix in the rest. Pour batter into prepared dish or dishes and bake. When soufflé is ready, it will be tall and browned and firm to the touch in the center. For the 1 quart dish, cook for roughly 35 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 25 minutes. For the 1 cup ramekins, cooking time will be shorter. Test after 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately. You can also refrigerate and serve later, but the soufflé will fall.