Spinach Souffle

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Serves4 people


Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Main Course

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian



Taste and TextureCheesy, Creamy, Herby, Light, Rich, Savory


  • 1 Tb minced shallots or green onion
  • 1 Tb butter
  • ¾ cup blanched chopped spinach (or chopped frozen spinach—which will take several minutes more cooking)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 egg whites
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 to ½ cup (1½ to 2 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 Tb grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 3 Tb flour
  • 1 cup boiling milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 egg yolks


  1. Butter the mold and sprinkle with cheese (see Notes). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure out your ingredients.

  2. Cook the shallots or onions for a moment in the butter. Add spinach and salt, and stir over moderately high heat for several minutes to evaporate as much moisture as possible from the spinach. Remove from heat.

  3. Prepare the soufflé sauce base: Melt the butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour with a wooden spatula or spoon and cook over modeate hear until butter and flour foam together for two minutes without browning. Remove from heat; when mixture has stopped bubbling, pour in all the boiling milk at once. Beat vigorously with a wire whip until blended. Beat in the seasonings. Return to moderately high heat and boil, stirring with the wire whip, for one minute. Sauce will be very thick.

  4. Remove from heat. Immediately start to separate the eggs. Drop the white into the egg white bowl, and the yolk into the center of the hot sauce. Beat the yolk into the sauce with the wire whip. Continue in the same manner with the rest of the eggs.

  5. After the egg yolks have been beaten in, stir in the spinach. Correct seasoning.

  6. Beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. Stir one fourth of them into the sauce. Stir in all but a tablespoon of the cheese. Fold in the rest of the egg whites and turn mixture into prepared mold. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and set on a rack in the middle level of preheated oven. Turn heat down to 375 degrees and bake for 2S to 30 minutes.

  7. VARIATIONS to be added to the preceding spinach soufflé:


    1/3 cup finely minced boiled ham

  8. Cook the ham with the butter and shallots for a moment before adding the spinach.


    ¼ lb. finely minced mushrooms

    1 Tb butter

    Salt and pepper

  9. A handful at a time, twist the mushrooms in the corner of a towel to extract their juice. Sauté in the butter for 5 minutes or so until the mushroom pieces begin to separate from one another. Season to taste. Stir them into the soufflé mixture with the spinach.

    Other vegetable soufflés

    These are all done in exactly the same manner as the spinach soufflé. Use ¾ cup of cooked vegetables, finely diced or puréed, such as mushrooms, broccoli, artichoke hearts, or asparagus tips.


Equipment:  A 6-cup soufflé mold and an enameled saucepan

Preparing the mold for the souffle:

So that the souffle may slide easily up during its rise, butter the sides and bottom of the mold heavily. Then roll grated cheese or bread crumbs around it it, paying particular attention to the inner circumference, which must be lightly but evenly coated. Turn the mold upside down and knock it on the table to dislodge excess cheese or bread crumbs. 


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