Spinach and Leek Pudding

May 19, 2009 Published in the October 2007 issue of Portland Monthly

Recipe Courtesy Chef Robert Reynolds.

Chef Robert Reynolds suggests serving these custards hot, as accompaniments to chicken or pork; or cold, garnished with a salad as an appetizer.

Serves 4


1 leek, washed, trimmed and sliced thin
½ small russet potato, peeled and sliced into½-inch-thick discs
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup packed spinach, trimmed
1 cup parsley leaves
2 cups arugula, stems discarded
3 sprigs tarragon, leaves picked, stems discarded
3 eggs
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp crème fraîche
Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

(1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and set rack in middle.
(2) Butter four 4-ounce ramekins.
(3) Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the bain-marie.
(4) Bring another large pot of water to a boil. Blanch potato, leek and garlic in boiling water for 8 minutes.
(5) Add spinach, parsley, arugula and tarragon and cook 3 minutes more.
(6) Drain under cold water, and squeeze vegetables to extract all liquid.
(7) Purée cooked vegetables thoroughly in a food processor. While it is still running, add eggs, followed by cream and crème fraîche. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
(8) Fill each ramekin with the mixture. Set ramekins in a large, shallow baking dish, and pour boiling water into the dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
(9) Bake until centers are barely firm but a toothpick inserted into each center comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.
(10) Remove ramekins from bain-marie and let rest until ready to serve.
(11) Unmold by running a thin, flexible rubber spatula or knife around edges and bottom of each ramekin.
(12) Invert onto plates and serve warm or cold.

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