It is often said that children don't like spinach but that has never been true for me, I've loved it as long as I can remember. I do admit that nowadays I mostly rely on the frozen variety (except for baby spinach in salads), I just can't seem to find the time - and patience to be honest - to wash and trim a huge pile of spinach to end up with a decent serving for two.
I got the recipe for this post's sformato* di spinaci (spinach pudding) from Joyce Goldstein's Cucina Ebraica, flavors of the Italian jewish kitchen. It's an amazing book, not only brimming with fantastic recipes but also their history, I was amazed to find out that many of my favourites of the Italian kitchen were jewish dishes, many of them originating in the Middle East.
The sformato is quite a lot of work, but I don't suppose an italian jewish housewife in the olden days would consider time an issue when putting together a dairy menu for a sabbath with the family. I say follow her lead if you can! The pudding was light and fluffy, yet rich-tasting with the classic combination of spinach (of course), eggs and cheese. Serve it as a main course with a simple tomato sauce or sautéd mixed mushrooms.
Sformato di spinaci (serves 2)
- 300g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- some fine breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 0.5 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1dl milk and 0.5dl vegetable broth
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
- salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
* Sformato means unmolded in Italian.