These individual layered custard cups with spinach and roasted red peppers are the perfect fit for any holiday menu with their festive colours and simple elegance. By layering custard in clear glass ramekin cups, the colours shine through like holiday candles. This easy appetizer or light dinner can be made ahead for entertaining. When buying your jar of roasted red peppers, ensure they are packed in water, not oil or vinegar.
Parmesan Custard: In food processor, combine light cream cheese, whipping cream and eggs. Pulse mixture until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; continue to pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide parmesan mixture into each of the eight greased glass ramekins (approx. ¼ cup (50 mL) in each).
Spinach Layer: Put spinach over a strainer in the sink and gently press to remove as much water from spinach as possible. You should have about 2 cups (500 mL) of packed spinach after draining.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat, add garlic; cook, stirring until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in spinach, green onions, salt and pepper. Cook to combine flavours, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon a generous ¼ cup (50 mL) of spinach mixture on top of parmesan custard, pressing gently on the tops.
Roasted Red Pepper Layer: In a bowl, stir together red pepper slices and garlic. Cover tops of spinach with a layer of roasted red pepper. The peppers should cover the spinach. Smooth tops.
Place custard cups on large rimmed baking sheet and bake in 375°F (190°C) oven until set, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Run a thin knife around edges of glass ramekins. Invert onto salad plates and top each with small amount of mixed greens and serve. Or top each cup with a handful of mixed greens and serve.
Salad: In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Toss with mixed greens.
Tip: These layered custards are designed to be an appetizer or light supper, yet they also make a great side dish idea.
Tip: Serve instead of mashed potatoes with your holiday meal. They work well alongside beef or pork.
Tip: Cover and refrigerate un-cooked custard cups for up to 2 days. Increase cooking time by 10 minutes when ready to bake, following instructions below.