We celebrated our daughter Raji’s birthday with a brunch at our home on 7/5. Her favorite meal is breakfast, so I decided to make Eggs Benedict and a Saag Soufflé. Both are very rich—special treats, but were big, big hits with the whole family!

Saag Souffle
Yield: 6 servings
For the tardka (optional):
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
For the soufflé:   
10-12 oz fresh spinach, trimmed, washed and drained or any mixture of spinach and fresh greens
1 recipe “tardka” (optional, see above)
3/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs (made from leftover phulka, chapatti, or toast)
1/3 cup lightly toasted magaz (melon seeds) pignoli nuts, or shelled pumpkin seeds
6 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a small saucepan and add the oil, then the onion and sauté until transparent. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Do not brown.

Put the spinach/greens in a glass bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes. Chop finely in a food processor, but do not puree. Return to the bowl with the tardka, if using. Stir in the bread crumbs and the seeds.

Butter an 10x10” oven-proof casserole dish and spread the spinach mixture. Beat the eggs, heavy cream, salt and nutmeg and pour over the greens.

Bake for 30 minutes or the center is just firm. Pull a knife around the edge and cut into squares. Serve immediately or cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat before serving.

Spicy Hollandaise Sauce for Eggs Benedict and/or Saag Souffle

Yield: about 1 cup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Juice of 1/4 lemon

In a small saucepan boil the vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, red pepper, and salt until reduced to about half. In a glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then strain the vinegar mixture and whisk into the yolks a little at a time.

Put the bowl over a pot of hot water on the stove top (to make a double boiler). Turn up the heat to medium while whisking until the egg yolks just begin to thicken. Whisk in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time until the butter is finished and the sauce thickened. Do not leave it or it will curdle. Whisk in the lemon juice. Serve immediately or keep over warm water, whisking every once in a while until serving time.

Here is the recipe for the dish Sophia and Samantha were making in the photo (here in previous blog post) during our camping trip. They are quite the accomplished cooks already (at 10), so I know you will enjoy reproducing their creation:

Fresh Green Beans and Summer Squash, Camper Style
Yield: 4 cups
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2'” pieces
1 medium summer squash, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated (optional)
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Black pepper to taste

Heat a wok and add the oil and garlic and stir for less than a minute. Add the beans and squash and stir -fry over high heat for three minutes. Cover for few minutes, add the salt and pepper and then stir fry until beans are crisp tender.