Lettuce Entertain You
Menu 1

A Different Onion Soup
Spinach Timbale
Pears Poached in Red Wine

2 pounds fresh spinach or 2 12-ounce packages frozen spinach
1 Tbsp butter
salt and ground pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp additional butter
1 cup Gruyère, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk, heated to just below boiling point
more salt and ground pepper to taste
grated nutmeg to taste (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Blanch the spinach, squeeze out the water, and chop fine. Sauté in 1 T butter, with salt and a pinch of nutmeg, until spinach is fairly dry. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sauté the onion in butter until tender. Place in a large mixing bowl and toss with the cheeses and 3/4 cup bread crumbs. Stir in the eggs. Whisk in the hot milk in a slow stream. Fold the spinach and walnuts into the mixture, add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Set a pan of water on the lower rack of your oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a bundt pan, mold, or a soufflé dish and roll the remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs over the inside surface. Pour the spinach mixture into the mold and set in the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until solid and a knife comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and unmold when the timbale stops bubbling. Serve with the sauce of your choice; my suggestions are tomato sauce or white wine sauce. The timbale is also good served cold.