Florentine is very much like the Indian dish Saag Panir—creamy spinach with chunks of farm-style cheese that’s a staple at holiday festivals. Nondairy folks can substitute soy milk and soy cheese. If necessary, you can substitute 2 cups chopped cooked spinach for the fresh spinach leaves. Using Ayurvedic principles, I add a pinch of gently fragrant coriander to make the Mornay sauce soothing.
Recipe Ingredient Details:
6-12 portobello mushrooms, depending on size (1 or 2 per person)
2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
1 pound raw spinach (about 8 cups)
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Gruyère, Swiss, or cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of hot sauce (such as Tabasco), or a pinch of cayenne pepper
Toasted pine nuts (for garnish)
2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups steaming hot low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground coriander
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Remove mushroom stems and gills; discard. Wipe mushroom caps with a damp cloth to clean. In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee until barely tender and juicy. (You don’t need to cook all the way through because they will also be baked.) Transfer to a lightly oiled 10x13-inch baking dish or sheet.
For the Mornay sauce, melt butter or ghee in a saucepan. Add flour and stir to make a thick paste. Rapidly whisk in steaming milk. Heat until thickened, whisking briskly and constantly to prevent lumps. Gently whisk in grated cheese and seasonings. Cover and keep warm.
Wash spinach and remove tough stems. Transfer to a large saucepan; cover and steam in the water that clings to the leaves until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Place wilted spinach in a colander and spray with cold water. Squeeze out excess moisture and chop. Stir chopped spinach, grated cheeses, black pepper, and hot sauce or cayenne into hot Mornay sauce.
Fill each mushroom with a generous spoonful of spinach-cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15–20 minutes or until filling is bubbling and lightly browned. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve hot.
Recipe Additional Notes:
Nutrition Facts Per Serving (one 3-ounce mushroom):Calories: 174 calories % fat calories: 64 Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 58mg Protein: 18g Carbohydrate: 11g Fiber: 4g Sodium: 236mg
Mon, 2012-08-20 07:27