spinachsouffle-94

Week 9 of the Very Veggie Challenge and yes, I know, I’m a day late with this post. I had planned to blog about broccoli soup this week. Unfortunately, the soup was not my greatest success and I decided to work on that one before putting it out into the world. So last night I rallied and made a spinach soufflé instead. I know, life’s tough when you have to read about spinach soufflé instead of broccoli soup.

Soufflés have an intimidating air about them. I remember watching Audrey Hepburn try to perfect her soufflé in the movie Sabrina, which highlighted the difficulty in mastering that gorgeous lofty dish. Poor Audrey was severely chastised by her teacher and since then I’ve always had this nagging worry that my soufflés won’t rise.

In reality, it can be difficult to achieve a picture perfect soufflé that stretches out of its earthly bowl towards the heavens, but I’ve learned to let go of perfection and tend to be happy with really tasty. And this, friends of the internet, was really tasty.

spinachsouffle-6

10 oz raw Spinach
2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
1/2 C Whole Milk
2 Tbsp Flour
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch Cayenne
Pinch Paprika
2 Egg Yolks
3 Egg Whites
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/4 C Gruyère Cheese, grated and packed
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400º F and make sure you have a rack in the middle or just below the middle of the oven.

spinachsouffle-16

 

Bring a pot of water to a boil and briefly cook the spinach until until it is tender and bright green (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).  Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain. Rinse out the spinach water from the pot and put it back on the stove.

spinachsouffle-11

Butter a 3 – 4 cup souffle dish (or other round, deep baking dish) and coat with approx 1 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese.

spinachsouffle-18

 

Melt the rest of the butter in the pot and whisk in the flour, cooking it for a minute or two to create a roux. While the roux is cooking, heat the milk until just before it boils. Stir the hot milk into the roux, along with a pinch of salt and a grate or two of pepper and the remaining parmesan cheese. Cook for another minute or so, whisking until the base thickens and then remove from the heat.

spinachsouffle-35

 

Pulse the drained spinach in a food processor briefly to get a smooth mixture, then drain the spinach again with a fine mesh sieve. Once the excess water has drained, add the spinach to the base, along with the gruyere, cayenne, paprika, nutmeg and another dash of salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and then stir in the egg yolks as well.

spinachsouffle-39

 

Now it is time to pull out the stand or hand mixer. if you have the option for a whisk attachment, now is the time to use it. If you don’t have one, don’t worry about it. In the mixer bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Whip the egg whites until you have firm, glossy peaks.

spinachsouffle-46

 

Whisk about 1/4 of the egg whites into the spinach and then gently fold in the rest. You want to keep all that nice loft from the beaten eggs. It doesn’t have to be completely mixed, so it’s okay to have streaks of egg white throughout.

spinachsouffle-75

Pour the souffle into your prepared dish and gently place it in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes. Now, here’s the hard part. I know we like to check on things to see how they are progressing, but try to resist the urge to open the oven door. The souffle will fare much better if left undisturbed. At the 25 minute mark, it’s ok to open the door just a crack to see if it is done. At this point, your kitchen should be filling with a lovely aroma and the souffle should be nice and puffy.

If the souffle looks set and full, carefully remove it from the oven. This is a serve immediately kind of dish, as the souffle will eventually fall, so grab a spoon and dig in. After taking pictures, I literally ate it out of the baking dish with the slotted serving spoon. It was one of those nights.

spinachsouffle-96

 

Spinach Soufflé
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 10 oz raw Spinach
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • ½ C Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • ⅛ tsp Nutmeg
  • Pinch Cayenne
  • Pinch Paprika
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • ¼ C Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ C Gruyère Cheese, grated and packed
  • ⅛ tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F and make sure you have a rack in the middle or just below the middle of the oven.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and briefly cook the spinach until until it is tender and bright green (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain. Rinse out the spinach water from the pot and put it back on the stove.
  3. Butter a 3 - 4 cup souffle dish (or other round, deep baking dish) and coat with approx 1 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Melt the rest of the butter in the pot and whisk in the flour, cooking it for a minute or two to create a roux. While the roux is cooking, heat the milk until just before it boils. Stir the hot milk into the roux, along with a pinch of salt and a grate or two of pepper and the remaining parmesan cheese. Cook for another minute or so, whisking until the base thickens and then remove from the heat.
  5. Pulse the drained spinach in a food processor briefly to get a smooth mixture, then drain the spinach again with a fine mesh sieve. Once the excess water has drained, add the spinach to the base, along with the gruyere, cayenne, paprika, nutmeg and another dash of salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and then stir in the egg yolks as well.
  6. Now it is time to pull out the stand or hand mixer. if you have the option for a whisk attachment, now is the time to use it. If you don't have one, don't worry about it. In the mixer bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Whip the egg whites until you have firm, glossy peaks.
  7. Whisk about ¼ of the egg whites into the spinach and then gently fold in the rest. You want to keep all that nice loft from the beaten eggs.
  8. Pour the souffle into your prepared dish and gently place it in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes. Now, here's the hard part. I know we like to check on things to see how they are progressing, but try to resist the urge to open the oven door. The souffle will fare much better if left undisturbed. At the 25 minute mark, it's ok to open the door just a crack to see if it is done. At this point, your kitchen should be filling with a lovely aroma and the souffle should be nice and puffy.
  9. If the souffle looks set and full, carefully remove it from the oven. This is a serve immediately kind of dish, as the souffle will eventually fall, so grab a spoon and dig in.