|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||43%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 21mg||106%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Many of us have shied away from making a souffle because of its reputation for being fragile and difficult to make. But with this French spinach souffle recipe, you will discover that it is, in fact, quite easy to prepare. There are a few tips to keep in mind, like having your ingredients at room temperature, that will help with achieving success. This recipe can be made in one large dish (look for a high-sided casserole dish or 1 to 1 1/2-quart souffle dish) or individual ramekins for a fun presentation. Serve this spinach souffle as a side dish or a light main course; it is lovely on its own or with a fresh, green salad.
"The soufflé was was very good. Make sure you squeeze out any excess moisture from the wilted spinach. Four 1-cup soufflé/ramekins were the perfect size, and it rose just above the edge. While it won't stay fluffy for more than a minute or so out of the oven, the flavor is great." —Diana Rattray
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound (about 10 cups) stemmed and chopped spinach
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 large room temperature eggs, separated
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Brush the inside of a 4 to 6-cup soufflé or deep casserole dish with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the softened butter, or grease six (5 to 6-ounce) individual ramekins, dividing the butter evenly. Sprinkle the buttered surface evenly with the grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Heat a large saucepan over low heat and add the chopped spinach. Sauté until it wilts and the juices have evaporated; keep a close eye on it as the spinach can burn. Let cool, then squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside.
In a separate medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and stir in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon. Cook for 30 seconds, mixing constantly, to cook down the flour.
Add the milk while whisking vigorously and cook for about 4 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Add the cooked spinach to the white sauce and continue cooking over medium heat for 1 minute. Season the mixture with black pepper, nutmeg, and more salt if needed.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot spinach mixture to temper it.
Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan, stirring to completely incorporate; remove from the heat. Do not overheat the mixture or you risk it separating; if this happens, unfortunately, there is no way to fix it.
In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Gently stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the spinach mixture.
Then fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish(es) and bake for 30 minutes, until the soufflé is puffed up and cooked through. A single souffle may take a few minutes longer.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
How to Fold Egg Whites Into a Soufflé Mixture
The tiny bubbles in the egg whites add air to the soufflé batter, which expands as the soufflé bakes. After lightening the batter with the first one-third of the egg whites, use a spatula to fold in the remaining whites. Draw the spatula through the center of the whites toward you, then flip them over while giving the bowl a quarter turn. Continue gently folding until the whites have almost completely disappeared.
How to Prevent Deflation
There are a few extra measures you can take to prevent the souffle from deflating:
- When folding in the egg whites, do so very gently, and just until they are combined. Over-mixing will remove some of the air bubbles and cause the souffle to fall.
- Do not open the oven door until close to the finished cooking time; cold air can make the souffle collapse.
- Overcooking is also another cause for a souffle to deflate, so make sure to check at the 30-minute mark.
- Some cooks place a paper collar (a strip of parchment paper) around the top of the dish to assure the souffle will puff up.
- Make sure to serve the souffle right when it comes out of the oven as it will naturally fall as it sits.
Why Do I Need to Temper?
Tempering—adding a small amount of hot liquid to a cold ingredient—is a technique used to prevent eggs, sour cream, or cream from curdling. It avoids shocking the dairy or eggs and instead creates a gentle method for combining the two ingredients, helping to stabilize them.
- While any deep 1 to 1 1/2-quart casserole will work well, a soufflé dish or similar casserole with straight sides is ideal. For a classic soufflé that will rise a bit above the top of the baking dish, use a 1-quart soufflé dish, four 7 to 8-ounce soufflé ramekins, or six 5 to 6-ounce soufflé ramekins.
- You can cook the spinach up to three days ahead; refrigerate and bring to room temperature before adding to the white sauce.
- Make sure the bowl you use to whip the egg whites is completely clean; a greasy or dirty bowl will prevent the eggs from stiffening.