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Classic Spinach Gratin


Ingredients

Scale

For the spinach:

  • 2 lbs stemmed fresh spinach, from about 2 ½ pounds spinach with stems
  • OR
  • 2 lbs baby spinach
  • OR
  • 14 oz frozen chopped spinach that has been squeezed dry (*see note)

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 bouillon cube, chicken or vegetable
  • Few scrapings of fresh nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg)
  • 1.5oz grated gruyere cheese, about 2/3 cup (*see note)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To bake:

  • 2oz grated gruyere cheese, about 1 cup (*see note)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Prepare the spinach:

  1. In a pan of boiling water, blanch 2 lbs. fresh, stemmed spinach for 2 minutes. Drain and submerge in a bowl of cold water until cool to preserve the fresh green color. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Taking small handfuls, squeeze out as much excess water as you can. I do this in about 10 small handfuls. The resulting weight should be about 14oz.
  3. Chop the spinach.

Make the sauce:

  1. Sauté chopped onion in butter until soft.
  2. Add flour and whisk to combine.
  3. Whisk in milk and bouillon cube, cooking until it thickens and starts to bubble.
  4. Add 1.5oz grated cheese and whisk in until melted. Turn off heat.
  5. Add a few scrapings of fresh nutmeg.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste. I use about 1 teaspoon salt.

To finish and bake:

  1. Stir the chopped, squeezed spinach into the cheese sauce.
  2. Spread in a baking dish. Top with 2oz grated gruyere cheese.
  3. Bake in a 400 degree F oven until bubbly and cheese on top is golden brown.

Notes

*This recipe was made using 2 lbs. of fresh, stemmed spinach. The weight of the spinach before stemming was about 2 ½ pounds. After blanching, chopping, and squeezing dry, the weight was 14oz. If you prefer to use frozen chopped spinach, use 14oz after thawing and squeezing out as much water as you can. This will require buying more than 14oz frozen spinach.

*I measure my cheese by weight because the volume will be different depending on the grating method. I use a fine grater that makes long, fine strands and takes up more space than cheese that has been grated in a food processor.

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