Spinach Au Gratin

photo 5-7

Rich, creamy, and satisfying, this creamed spinach dish will convert even the most finicky non-vegetable eater into a Popeye who loves his leafy green vegetables.  This dish is super easy to make too and if you are pressed for time, you can even make it ahead of time, adding the Panko topping just before baking it.  I used fresh spinach but you can also substitute other sturdy green leafy vegetables as well; kale or Swiss chard would also be good.  I served this family style alongside grilled rib eye steaks but if you want a fancier presentation you can bake and serve the spinach in individual au gratin dishes.  However you serve it, this is sure to become a family favorite.

SPINACH AU GRATIN

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

3 pounds fresh spinach, chopped

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon flour

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

3/4 cup Panko crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a medium-sized ceramic casserole dish with butter and set aside.
  • In a large saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.
  • Add the spinach and tossing gently, cook until the spinach is wilted, 3-4 minutes.
  • Scrape the spinach mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Return the pan to the heat and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.  Gradually add in the cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free.  Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
  • Off the heat and stir in the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce over the top of the spinach.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a small saute pan.  Once the butter has melted, off the heat and add the Panko crumbs.
  • Evenly distribute the crumbs over the top of the spinach and cream.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the crumbs have browned.
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

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