When I was growing up, my mom managed to get dinner on the table every evening within 30 minutes after getting home from work. Often, especially in the winter, this meant pulling out frozen vegetables from the freezer to serve on the side. Occasionally she would pop a Stouffer's Spinach Soufflé into the oven. I happened to like spinach as a kid just about any way it was served. I loved the earthy flavour of spinach in the "soufflé" with the light and eggy texture. It had a consistency a little more like a frittata or custard than a fluffy soufflé.
I've come up with a recipe that is exactly the same as the memory I have of that side dish.
It makes a great accompaniment to a nightly supper, brunch buffet, or Southern style barbecue.
Serves 4 as a side dish; double the recipe for a larger crowd or buffet dish.
- ½ lb (generally one bag) spinach, rinsed and stiff stems removed
- ½ Tbsp butter
- ½ small onion, finely diced
- ½ cup (114gr) ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- several grinds freshly ground pepper
- pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- dash hot sauce, optional
Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C.
Melt the butter in a large skillet or soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion in butter until they begin to turn translucent. Add the rinsed spinach to the pot and combine with onions and cover the pot. The rinse water clinging to the spinach will help wilt the leaves. If you're using pre-rinsed spinach, either quickly rinse it, or add a tablespoon of water to the pot. Heat through until the spinach is just wilted, about 3 minutes.
Place the remaining ingredients in a blender, food processor, or stand mixer; blend until just combined. Add the spinach and onions and puree, pausing to scrape down the sides.
Grease a 1-quart soufflé or casserole dish. Pour the soufflé mixture into the dish and bake for 50 - 60 mins until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let stand for 5 mins before serving.