Calories per portion 180/240 (depending on size)
Ingredients (Serves 6 to 8)
400 g (14 oz.) Spinaches (raw and dry weight)
30 g (1 oz.) Butter
50 g (bit less than 2 oz.) Flour
¼ lt. (bit more than 1 cup) Milk
2 Eggs + 1 Yolk
50 g (bit less than 2 oz.) Grated Parmesan Cheese
A little extra butter and ½ cup of Breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper
This dish could be served as a starter, sliced and set as a 1st Course with some cheese sauce on top, sit on a side of a Main Course or as a part of a vegetarian main entrée. It all depends on quantity and presentation. I don’t recommend using frozen spinaches for this preparation because they would ruin the creamy flavor of this recipe turning it bitter. It can be made in one Bundt Pan or in many little ramekins for single portions. Then it will be cooked with ‘bagnomaria’ in the oven (sitting in a larger pan with water in it).
Wash the spinaches, rinse them and let them steam in a large pot with just the water from the washing (it takes a couple of minutes). Drain them and try to squeeze all the water out (I do it with rubber gloves on and a strainer). Put the butter to melt into a sauce pan and add the flour stirring with a whisk (check the Béchamel module recipe for complete method). Add salt, pepper and nutmeg, then the grated Parmesan Cheese and the eggs, one at a time finishing with the yolk. Put the sauce and the spinaches into an electric grinder or use a food mill with a fine blade till you end up with a nice smooth green mixture. Soften the extra butter till it gets like a paste (in pastry it is called butter paste, It means that it is soft but not liquid). Brush the inside of a Bundt Pan or of the ramekins with butter and sprinkle the breadcrumbs to coat every possible corner (butter has to be like paste; neither solid nor liquid). Pour in the mixture till ½ an inch from the rim. Take some kitchen paper (best would be a piece of cardboard with no print on) and lay it on the bottom of a large flat oven pan. Place the Bundt pan or the ramekins into this large container and fill with water till 2/3 of the mixture height. Do not cover and place everything in the oven at 180° (350 F.) for about 45 minutes. Let it cool before attempting to flip the flan and serve as you like.
Possible serving ideas
Spinaches flan is great with sauté mushrooms, with melted cheese, with a freshly made tomato sauce or by its self. If one Bundt Pan is used, then it is nice to bring the flipped flan to the table so that our guests can see it. Then, we will slice it in small or large portions as preferred and add an optional sauce . As a 1st Course, it is advisable to present it already sliced and placed on the individual dishes. Two or three slices will be perfect and I would suggest melting some blue cheese to go along with. As a side vegetable to a Main Course, combine everything together and bring single portions. Depending on the Main Course’s calories, decide between one or two slices. Even a couple of days after, it can be a great starter if sliced and sizzled with some butter and extra Parmesan Cheese sprinkled on top. Normally the decoration of food should recall what is in the inside; so, in this case, we can’t add much more than a touch of green with a sprig of fresh basil.