“Why are you making these this week?!” asked DH, when he learned what was for dinner. His point being that this is such a perfect Pesach dinner, it’s almost absurd to eat it the week before the festival begins! The answer, somewhat mundanely, was that we got three big baking potatoes and a bag of spinach in our organic box, and this seemed a good way to use them.
(Also, a small part of me wanted to make this in advance of Pesach so I could blog about it and share it with you, dear readers, so that it can grace your Pesach tables, but don’t tell DH that…)
I haven’t made soufflé potatoes for ages, but I do really love them. They turn an ordinary jacket potato into something altogether more special, and they’re really pretty easy to make. The spinach made these extra yummy, and meant I could omit a massive pile of grated cheese, which is what I would normally put in here, lowering the fat content and adding child-friendly veg in one fell swoop. Kipper scoffed down the light spinachy soufflé filling – I think she must have developed a taste for spinach after the spinach lasagne rolls – but declared the best bit to be the crispy potato skins. Mmmm.
In this recipe, I started off the potatoes in the microwave, before baking them in the oven. This was entirely done for speed, so if you were more organised and in less of a hurry, you could omit the microwave stage and simply bake them in the oven for an hour or so until soft. I always think that oven-baked potatoes have a crispier skin, although since these spent a good 45 minutes in the oven anyway, I’m not sure it made a huge difference – see Kipper’s comment, above.
We had these as a main dish, with a simple sliced tomato salad, but you could also serve them as a fancy side dish with something fishy. And while they are perfect for Pesach, they’re delicious the rest of the year too 🙂
- 3 baking potatoes
- 1 medium leek
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250g spinach
- 2 eggs, separated
- 75g cream cheese
- 0.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
- Scrub the potatoes and stab each one several times with a fork. Put on a plate and microwave on high for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C.
- Remove the potatoes from the microwave, and transfer to a baking sheet in the hot oven. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes until soft.
- While the potatoes are baking, trim and slice the leek, and sauté in the olive oil until very soft - around 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the stems from the spinach and wash the leaves well. Add to the leek a little at a time and stir well to wilt the leaves. Once all the leaves are added and softened, remove from the heat.
- Process the leek-spinach mixture briefly with a hand blender, then transfer to a bowl. Stand for a few minutes then drain off any liquid that accumulates.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside. Add the yolks to the spinach with the cream cheese, nutmeg and pepper, and mix well.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven. Cut in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh to leave a thin 'shell'. Return the 'shells' to the baking sheet.
- Mash the potato flesh roughly with a fork, then stir into the spinach mixture. Finally, gently fold in the whisked egg whites.
- Pile the mixture back into the potato skins, and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen, golden, and set. Serve at once.