Spinach Souffle, 1953
A 1953 recipe from Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking by Meta Given
3 cups finely shredded raw spinach, tightly packed (3/4lb)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup flou
1 cup milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh onion juice
4 eggs, separated
Wash spinach according to directions (P. 1512) for Buttered Spinach and shred. Heat butter in a saucepan. Add spinach and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Blend the flour and a little of the milk to form a thin paste. Stir rest of milk into the paste and pour it gradually into spinach, stirring constantly until mixture is very thick. Stir in seasonings. Cool slightly, add beaten egg yolks and mix well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and turn into a greased 6-cup casserole and bake directly on the oven rack in a slow oven (300 F.) for about 50 minutes. Serve immediately. 4 servings.
A Modern Interpretation
A dear friend of mine was at our house to do some holiday baking and we made this dish for dinner together. The first thing I did was to chop a bag of baby spinach. Since bagged spinach/lettuces are ready to eat, there was no reason to wash it. We chopped the whole bag into smallish pieces. I added it to the pan with the butter and sauted for about 5 minutes on medium-low; until it was wilted and cooked.
While I was sauteeing, my friend separated the eggs and prepped the milk mixture. In a bowl, she added the flour and gradually added the milk. She added it to the spinach and I stirred constantly until it made a paste; removed from heat. My friend added the egg whites to the Kitchen Aid and whipped until stiff peaks. I added the yolks and spices (to make onion juice, use the finest grater you have and grate raw onion). Then folded in the egg whites until well combined.
I dont have a souffle baking dish, so I improvised and used my slow cooker pot. I have a small round slow cooker and it was a good alternative. Souffle baking dishes should have tall straight sides. Souffles rise significantly and need the sides to climb up. I greased the slow cooker pot with cooking spray and added the spinach mixture. Baked at 300 F for 50 minutes.
I have never had a souffle before but Ive always been interested in them. I really didnt know what to expect. It was cooked perfectly (I think). It tasted like a very light and fluffy quiche. The one thing I think it was missing was- maybe- some parmesan cheese. The creamy salty flavor would have added a nice depth to the dish. This souffl has a lot of steps but it was relatively easy to make and didnt take too much time; perhaps about 20 minutes to prep.
This dish would pair really well with something that was rich or dense, such as a steak and baked potato. It would also be lovely for brunch; paired with fruit.
Overall, I liked it and I am really excited to try other types of savory souffles. I should probably get a proper baking dish.
Update: I made this a second time for Christmas brunch and added about 1 cup parmesan cheese when I folded in the egg whites. It was perfect.
*Given, Meta. Spinach Souffl. In Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. Thirteenth printing. Chicago, Il: J. G. Ferguson and Associates, p. 1514-1515