Last night I made Spinach Soufflé for dinner because I happen to have way too many eggs on hand. I have made many cheese soufflés in my day, but never with spinach. It was really good and even my daughter, Zoe, liked it. My youngest refused to participate in such a suspicious looking repast – her loss. The rest of the family has had the recommended daily allowance of iron.
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup gruyère cheese, shredded
8 oz spinach, chopped and squeezed dry
4 egg whites, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 400˚, and butter a 6 cup soufflé dish. Dust inside of dish with 1 Tbs Parmesan by tilting dish and allowing cheese to roll and stick to butter. Set aside.
Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté, then add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown. This is called a “roux,” which is the base for many white sauces. Slowly whisk in milk and cayenne until smooth, and continue stirring for about 4-5 minutes to form a béchamel* sauce. This sauce should be thick. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk the egg yolks, the cheese, spinach and remaining tablespoon of Parmesan. Set aside.
With a hand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir 1/4 of whites into soufflé base. Fold in remaining whites, being careful not to over-mix.
Gently spoon mixture into soufflé dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚ and bake 10 more minutes.