13 June 2010

Spinach and Feta Clafouti for Meatless Mondays

Spinach and feta Clafouti
Clafoutis are a French take on baked egg custard which has changed little since its creation in 19th-century France. My favourite sweet clafoutis are made with black cherries marinated in kirsch. Traditionally the cherries are left unpitted, so that the pits will impart a slightly almond flavour that takes the clafoutis to a whole new level of flavour. Additionally, traditionalists warn that if pitted, the cherry juice will make the cake soggy. Other soft fruits work well such as raspberries, blueberries or apricots.



With trying to avoid sweets (as much as humanly possible) you may have noticed my clafouti craze lately. What can be done with fruit can also be done with vegetables. Christophe Felder, a well renowned French pastry chef, describes some 80 variations on clafoutis both sweet and savoury...clafoutis with bilberries and fennel-flower, clafoutis with wild strawberries, clafoutis with broccoli and Gruyere are all in his book Les Clafoutis de Christophe. I'd have to say that the savoury clafouti is my latest foodie experiment!!!!

 After a disappointing and wet Spring I do believe Summer has finally shone on the Okanagan. Black storm clouds, driving rain and the gargantuan gales of the last two weeks have suddenly given way to blue streaked white sky. Break out the sun screen!!!!Not only do I feel my spirits rise with renewed belief that summer will definitely return again, but I have proof of it as I sit on my sundappled patio. I am of course heading out soon with my book and beach chair in tow.

 We have been enjoying the luxuries of Spring like furled fiddleheads and earthy morels but let's not forget the every day tender, buttery lettuces and greens popping up in our neighbours’ and friends' gardens. Last weekend I was walking our local farmer's market when I came across some tender, baby spinach. When I made Rose Murray's Roasted Tomato Clafouti I remember saying, " Just the idea of a savoury clafouti makes my toes tingle. I can see a combination of feta and other Greek cheeses and chopped baby spinach in my future." Well the future is now!!!!

As with the tomato clafouti I added some shredded mozzarella for the slightly firmer texture I love as well as some Greek-inspired flavours of goat cheese feta and grated Kefalotyri as a finishing touch. If you prefer your clafoutis eggier by all means forget the mozzarella or use fresh bocconcini. There is nothing quite like a savoury clafoutis to rescue me on busy weeknights. What could possibly be easier than sautéing some vegetables and beating some eggs with a little flour, milk and cheese? I have been enjoying the experimentation!!!

What combination do you see in your future?

Be part of the solution with Meatless Mondays.

**Spinach and Feta Clafoutis**
  • 2 tablespoons (25 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce/300 g) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained - or 1 pound fresh spinach, cleaned and torn in small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh dill(or 1 teaspoon/5 mL dried)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) light cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (25 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 lb (250 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups/500 mL)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly grated Kefalotyri cheese or Asiago for sprinkling on top (if desired)
1. If using fresh spinach. wash, drain, and trim the spinach. Put in an enameled pan without water, cover, and cook over medium heat until the leaves wilt (this method is called ‘panning’). Stir with a wooden spoon, then cover and simmer gently 15 to 18 minutes until just tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. With your hands squeeze the spinach dry. If you use frozen spinach after it is thawed please squeeze the spinach as dry as possible. This step is very important so that your end result will not be soggy. Chop your spinach.

2. In a shallow 6-cup (1.5 L) baking dish add chopped onions and spring onions (scallions), drizzle with the oil; sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until translucent. Add chopped spinach and dill; stir.

3. In a blender, blend the cream, eggs and flour until smooth; pour over the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and feta cheeses. Reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C); bake for about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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40 comments:

  1. Valli: I cannot wait to try this! We enjoy entertaining at brunch and are always looking for new recipes. A side of melons or fresh fruit would be perfect with this dish. I did your roasted tomato clafouti for a ladies luncheon a few weeks ago and they loved it.

    Thanks!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. Clafouti is a great fast dessert to put together. I've made it with strawberries as well as the traditional cherry (un-pitted). My favourite...is with apricots and peaches.
    Now, for this extremely appetizing savoury wonder...mmmm...absolutely can have a piece of this any day ;o)
    Great of you to get a head start on Meatless Monday Ideas.
    Hope the sun stays long enough to bring bright shiny days to your creativity in the kitchen ;o)
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

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  3. I've never seen a savory clafoutis! Love it. Do you think I could use swiss chard and goat cheese instead of spinach and feta? I just happen to have those two things in my fridge, along with mozzarella...

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  4. That looks wonderful Val! I love all the cheeses and the spinach and dill are perfect here.

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  5. I like the savory idea better than the sweet clafouti. It's almost like a frittata.

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  6. What a clever idea to make a clafouti savoury! I agree the possibilities are endless Val...and I do love this one with spinach and feta...enjoy the sunshine!

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  7. I love the idea of a savory clafoutis! And this sounds so yummy. Anything with feta works for me!

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  8. I always think of clafouti as a sweet -- how wonderful to see this savory version. I'm bookmarking!

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  9. This looks delicious. I have never made a clafouti, savoury or sweet. I love spinach and feta.

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  10. This clafouti strikes me as something between a souffle and quiche, two dishes that I love. This is an excellent meatless Monday recipe!

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  11. OMG that looks delish.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

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  12. I must make this so I can say Clafouti. I mean yes, it looks fabulously delicious. But Clafouti is such an awesome word to say!

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  13. Great meatless Monday dish especially if it's topped with Asiago cheese.

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  14. I love savory clafoutis! A yummy dish!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  15. You are a daring chef to make a savory version of this French classic. Well done. it looks totally divine!

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  16. I love spinach feta combo. This looks great.

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  17. I am trying your recipe today. I have feta and fresh spinach in my fridge. And of course I usually have the rest of the ingredients ..
    Miam!

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  18. So similar to an Italian frittata- what's not to love?? This looks absolutely decadent Val. I love Farmer's Market season!
    xoxo Pattie

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  19. Wow I love the idea of a savory clafouti! This looks fantastic. I can't wait to try it!!

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  20. Nice take on a Clafouti...easy, delish and either a light lunch or a course.

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  21. This really does look wonderful and I love the uniqueness of a savory clafouti. Great idea! Blessings...Mary

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  22. What a gorgeous clafouti Val; I think I like the savoury versions better. Will have to make one soon. :-)

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  23. Oh, You gave me inspiration Val! I love the idea of a savory clafouti, and I love this combination!

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  24. Wow, I think this sounds fantastic.

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  25. A savory clafouti is SUCH a brilliant idea - like a crustless quiche!

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  26. this would make a show-stopping meal, val! i really like the idea of a savory clafouti--very nice!

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  27. Can I tell you a secret? I've never made a clafouti/is...in fact, until I started blogging I never even heard the word. I guess I should try it one of these days.

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  28. I don't think I've ever seen a savory clafouti before! Almost like a quiche but denser...cakier. I like it.

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  29. This looks delicious, Val. And I can pick up all the ingredients at the farmers market on Saturday. I'm looking forward to trying your recipe.

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  30. I have never seen a savory clafouti - this sounds amazing!

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  31. The greek flavors sound wonderful in this savory clafoutis! I love the Kefalotyri cheese on top!

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  32. I never thought of making a savory clafoutis - what a fabulos idea!

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  33. I can't wait to try this one! This is definitely going to be the best for my menu this week!

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  34. I was just reading about the cherry pits being important to a clafouti recipe. I love your savory version so much! Delicious!

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  35. I prefer savory clafoutis that sweet ones and this one is a winner! simply beautiful.

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  36. Oh how lovely!! I love these flavors and it looks just splendid. :-)

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  37. Sweet ArtichokeJune 16, 2010

    A very nice-looking clafoutis! Feta and Zucchini go so well together!!

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  38. Report cards are STILL not done - but I had to get reading... another deadly recipe! Great photos, too. There is spinach everywhere right now and feta with spinach is a winning combination - but never thought about it this way!
    :)
    Valerie

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  39. I swear. This is soooo cruel! Why does my plate not have any spinach & feta clafoutis on it. That is so brilliant. Savory Clafoutis!

    Cruel, I say cruel ... another cook book to lust after ;0)

    Wish that had been my dinner.

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  40. I like the sound of a savoury clafouti and a spinach and feta one would be at the top of my lists to try!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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