Spinach Soufflé

(See Preparation Tips for Soufflés. )

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Brush the inside of a large soufflé or casserole dish, or 6 individual ramekins, with 1½ Tbs of softened butter. Sprinkle the inside buttered surface evenly with grated Parmesan cheese.

Stem and chop the spinach and add to a large saucepan. Sauté until the spinach wilts and the juices have evaporated.

In a separate medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and stir in the flour and salt. Cook while whisking constantly for 30 seconds. Add the milk to the flour while whisking vigorously and cook until the mixture thickens (about 4 minutes).

Add the chopped spinach to the flour mixture and continue cooking over medium heat for 1 minute. Season the mixture with black pepper and nutmeg.

Whisk ½ cup of the hot spinach mixture into the egg yolks. Then add this egg yolk mixture back into the hot spinach, stirring until completely incorporated. (Do not overheat this mixture or you risk splitting the mixture.)

Beat the egg whites on high speed in a scrupulously clean bowl until stiff peaks form. (A greasy or dirty bowl will prevent the egg whites from stiffening.)

Stir ⅓ of the beaten egg whites into the spinach. Then gently 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 completely through.

Serve immediately before the soufflé falls.