1 bunch asparagus, washed and chopped with the woody ends removed
12 ounces loose spinach leaves
1 shallot, chopped
2 Tb. fresh rosemary
1 cup cream
4 Tb. unsalted butter, plus extra for the dish
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tb. all-purpose flour
1 ⅓ cups milk
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 6-cup souffle or gratin dish and dust it with a few tablespoons of the Parmesan.
Put the shallot, rosemary, and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring slowly to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the rosemary.
Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus for 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water and drain. In a small frying pan, steam the spinach until wilted. Combine the asparagus and spinach in a food processor and combine until smooth.
Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Whisk in the milk and stir until it thickens. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir in the remaining Parmesan. Turn off the heat and stir in the egg yolks, spinach and asparagus, and the shallot-cream mixture. Season with pepper.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form firm peaks but are still somewhat soft. Fold the whites into the base. Scrape the batter into the prepared dish and bake until golden brown and set, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings (or 7, if you have a lot of other food).