Thursday, November 15, 2018

Spinach Gratin

 I recently invited a few friends over for a Friendsgiving dinner, and I made a bunch of dishes for everyone to try. I was pretty pleased with all of the recipes, but I think THIS one was the absolute stand-out. As you can see in the picture, it makes a pretty big casserole, and there was not very much left at the end of the night. That's definitely a WIN, in my book.
 This recipe is from Ina Garten, and it's absolutely DELISH. Now, I have to say, my sisters and nieces and I are always joking about how she always says "use fresh, but store bought is fine." But for this recipe, it's an absolutely MUST to use store bought frozen spinach. Because spinach cooks down to practically nothing, you'd need, like, a metric ton of fresh spinach to fill up the pan! So, frozen is the way to go.
 Usually, when I'm looking for recipes for Thanksgiving, I don't always go for the rich heavy casseroles, but this one looked so good, I decided to give it a go. Fun fact, it's not heavy at all! Rich and flavorful, yes. Heavy, nope! As Miss Ina would say "How perfect is that?"
 When I made it, I prepped and assembled it the night before, and then just popped it in the oven on the night of my dinner. Easy! For Thanksgiving, you can put it in the oven when you take the turkey out. The turkey needs time to rest anyway, so that will give you plenty of time to bake the casserole.
 So, thank you, Ina, for yet another fabulous recipe. I'm definitely not gonna wait until next Thanksgiving to make this one again!

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 kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
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 and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.


To squeeze the liquid out of the spinach, place a clean tea towel flat on your work surface. Place your defrosted spinach (in small batches) on the towel. Just dump it right out of the box onto your towel. Pick up all four corners of the towel to make a little bundle of spinach. Twist the bundle so that the towel tightens around the spinach, which will squeeze out all the liquid. 

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