My first recipe I selected for 2016 is a colourful and tasty soufflé made with purée of spinach, a Béchamel sauce and Pecorino di Sardo. This dry, sheep’s milk cheese is made with raw milk and has a lovely salty flavour which is different to many other Pecorinos. The combination of the creamy spinach with the tangy cheese makes a tasty and unusual soufflé. I confess this was cooked by my daughter while I typed this letter but I did take the pictures and enjoyed eating it. I recommend pairing this soufflé with a Hugel Riesling from Alsace.
Ingredients for 4 as a main course
- 1kg spinach
- 25g butter
- 5 eggs
- 100g Pecorino di Sardo from the French Market shop
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Bechamel Sauce
- 100g butter
- 100g flour
- 500ml milk
Directions to make the Bechamel sauce:
- Wash the spinach and trim off all the large stems
- Boil in salted water for 10 minutes
- Strain off the water, when cooled, press leaves between palms of your hand to remove any excess liquid.
- Grate the cheese
- Separate the eggs, place the yolks in one bowl
- Smear the inside of a soufflé dish with some butter
- To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan, over a medium heat
- Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes until it goes golden
- Add all milk in one go and stir continuously until the mixture thickens and bubbles slightly.
- Add nutmeg, black pepper and salt to taste.
- Cut the spinach finely and place in a large saucepan
- Add the béchamel sauce and mix in thoroughly
- Add the egg yolks and mix in, then add the pecorino and stir in
- Carefully fold in the whisked egg whites into the mixture and spoon into the buttered dish
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180C degrees for about 20 minutes until set
Serve immediately otherwise soufflé flattens. Serve with a crisp baguette and a chilled Hugel Riesling from Alsace