Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strata d'epinards et feta avec des noix

Without a doubt, Spinach is my favorite vegetable, so whenever I'm at a loss as to what to prepare for dinner one night, my failsafe is usually Spinach lightly sauteed with Garlic and Olive Oil. Sometimes, though, especially with a lighter main dish, I prefer to make my Spinach into a heartier dish. The last time I did this, I combined the Spinach with Eggs and Cheese and created my Frittata d'epinards, oeufs et trois fromages. While that was delicious, I decided I wanted something lighter and a little tangier this time around. Looking through the fridge for inspiration (this recipe also succeeded in using up several odds and ends), I alighted on Feta cheese with Mediterranean spices that I had bought at Trader Joe's a week before. Although usually served cold in Salad, I decided to try cooking it, to truly excellent results. Finally I added some Walnuts, to keep the texture interesting. This was purely decided by the fact that I had just bought a huge bag of Walnuts, since I normally eat them raw or, if cooked, in cookies. Finally, I've decided to call this a Strata, as opposed to a Frittata, or crustless quiche. A Strata is basically the Italian word for an egg casserole and, therefore, sounds so much more enticing.

This would also make a delicious Brunch dish, I'm sure.

Strata d'epinards et feta avec des noix

Preoven to 400 F.

Heat Olive Oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add Leeks, Chives and Garlic and saute about 3 minutes, until mostly soft. Turn off heat and add Spinach, Parsley and Feta. Mix well.

Whisk together Milk, Ricotta Cheese, Salt, Pepper and Chinese Five-Spice Powder in a bowl. Add Egg and Egg Whites and continue whisking until well-combined (an electric egg-beater makes this much easier). Pour over Spinach, followed by Bread. Stir. Bake for 12 minutes. Add Walnuts and bake an additional 8 minutes, until the top is lightly golden.

Thoughts: Check out this Hawaiian band I've recently discoverd. Not bad, huh?

Reves: If I ever have a backyard, I want an outdoor Smoker and Grill, like this one.

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