- About 2 pounds of spinach, stemmed, washed, and more or less dried
- 2 medium leeks
- 2 T. butter
- Freshly ground salt and black pepper
- Several dashes – about ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 2 c. whole milk
- 6 large eggs
- A generous pinch of cayenne
- About 2 T. of freshly grated Parmesan
- Over a medium flame, melt the butter in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the leeks, a few grinds of salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are tender but still green, about five minutes.
- Sprinkle the nutmeg over top, add a layer of spinach, and season with a few grinds of salt. Next, add another layer of spinach, a few more grinds of salt, and repeat until all of the spinach is in the pot. Turn up the heat slightly, cover the pot, and let the spinach steam over the leeks. Lift the lid to stir once or twice so that you get an even steam. You want the spinach to be just barely wilted, so the steaming should take no longer than two minutes. Allow leeks and spinach to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and butter a deep, 10-inch pie dish. When the spinach-leek mixture is cool, taste it and adjust the seasoning, as necessary. Remember that you are about to blend it with a lot of unseasoned eggs and milk, so if the spinach and leeks taste a little over-seasoned, that’s actually okay.
In a blender, puree the vegetables with the milk and eggs in two batches. Add a few final grinds of salt and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Add any remaining cooking juices from the pot to one of the batches before you puree.
- The batter will be thin and soupy. Pour it into the buttered pie dish, and grate about two tablespoons of Parmesan over the top. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is lightly browned. The cake will puff up and dome slightly in the oven and then collapse back onto itself as it cools. Serve at room temperature, or chilled.
Yield: 6 servings
Comments: I subbed 4 egg whites plus 3 regular eggs, since I had egg whites I wanted to use up after my Challah experiment. I think my spinach was way too wet for the recipe, and adding the leftover liquid created a very wet cake. I let it cool and spend a day melding after cooking, as it is supposedly enjoyed best at room temperature after a day, but I still wasn’t impressed. It was a bit bland, and otherwise unexciting. (You’ll see in the photos that some of the egg sunk to the bottom, forming a lighter colored layer. Maybe I didn’t blend everything long enough.)