In case you didn't know, wheat farina--found dirt cheap in any chain supermarket in town under the Cream of Wheat brand of fortified wheat cereal--when whipped hot, will gain crazy volume. (There's even a tasty, and apparently traditional Latvian, dessert mousse made of it.) Those stretched proteins can give loft to some baked items, like these flavorful, colorful little carrot-spinach dishes. Because the pureed carrot base is so dense, these souffles will puff only gently, but even without dramatic lift, the farina gives these a decidedly fluffy mouthfeel that we're pretty sure is destined for this year's Thanksgiving table. Or any brunch table between now and then.
Savory Carrot Souffle
yields 1 large or 8 individual souffles in 8-oz ramekins
2 lbs carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 TBSP ground flax
3 TBSP water
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
handful fresh baby spinach (or fresh spinach, chopped)
1 cup nondairy milk
1 cup oat bran (bread crumbs should work, if you prefer)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
juice of 1 lemon, plus enough water to make 1 /12 cups total liquid
1/4 cup wheat farina
Boil the chopped carrots until tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix 3 TBSP ground flax with 3 TBSP water and set aside.
Heat the 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, oat bran, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir in the flax mixture, then add the onions and spinach and stir to combine.
When the carrots are ready, drain and puree them with the 2 TBSP oil, mustard, oregano, dill, and paprika. Stir the carrot puree into the onion-spinach mixture and set aside.
Bring the lemon juice and water to a boil. Whisk in the farina, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Quickly transfer to a stand mixture with the whisk attachment and beat on medium for two minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 8-9 minutes, until glossy and increased in volume.
While the farina is being whipped, preheat the oven to 350.
When the farina is ready, fold it into the souffle base. Transfer to lightly greased souffle dishes and bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.