I am a huge fan of creamed spinach. I don't have it often, but when I do order it at a steak house it is a splurge. Honestly, who can resist the creamy sauce baked into each crevasse of the spinach leaves? You are still getting the benefits of the healthy spinach but just with a non-diet friendly accompaniment of the cream. But every once in a while it is ok to indulge in something you really enjoy. Everything in moderation is my motto.
For my father’s birthday we had a family dinner at my parent’s house. My mom was making my Dad’s favorite, leg of lamb, so I wanted to make create a side dish that was worthy of this special meal. After perusing through all of my beautiful Ina Garden cookbooks, I came across the most amazing side dish, spinach gratin. Heavenly! I had no idea I had one of my favorite restaurant recipes in my collection the entire time. This could be a little dangerous now that I know how to make this recipe and it is so easy!
My Dad had a very happy birthday with his leg of lamb and spinach gratin.
Spinach Gratin Recipe
Recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Preheat oven to 425o
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (5 (10-ounce) packages)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Transfer the spinach to a baking dish (9x13) and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.
1) If you don't want to use the cream, you could substitute milk
2) I use my fine mesh strainer over a bowl to squeeze out the liquid from the spinach. By using the back of a spoon you can push the water through the strainer and away from the spinach easily.