Spinach Casserole–perfect for Holidays

cooking with candi 233I came across this recipe in my recipe file. I made it once a while ago and am re-visiting it because I had made notes on this lovely gratin. It’s super-rich and belongs on a holiday table. It goes well with meat and poultry. Made with frozen spinach, I bought the frozen organic spinach at Whole Foods frozen works better than the fresh stuff here. I am all for some plain roasted veggies but who can resist this beautiful gratin? If someone asks you to bring a side dish this could be the one. Go for it! and use a beautiful casserole dish , a 9 x 11 should work perfectly. I am making this one day ahead and will bring it to room temperature on Thanksgiving and re-heat it. Enjoy!

Shopping List:

onions, Gruyere Cheese (grated), 3 16 oz. bags of frozen chopped spinach, Panko Breadcrumbs

Pantry Items:

unsalted butter, onions, grated nutmeg, flour, cayenne powder, kosher salt and pepper, whole milk and flour.

Ingredients:

*should serve 10 people as a side

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium-sized yellow onions , chopped

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg ( or ground nutmeg)

pinch of cayenne powder ( gives it a little kick)

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere Cheese

3 16 oz. bags of frozen chopped spinach- thawed ( organic spinach is nice but not necessary)

1 tsp. Kosher Salt

1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black or white pepper

Topping:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Panko seasoned breadcrumbs

Sea Salt to taste ( if no sea salt use kosher salt)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Squeeze all of the liquid out of the thawed spinach, by the handfuls, (very important ) get all of the water out. Set spinach aside. You’ll want it as dry as possible.

Heat milk to a simmer in saucepan, not to a boil but a simmer.

Melt the butter in another pot, add onions and cook until translucent but not browned, app. 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the hot milk and whisk until it thickens up, this is the roux. Add the nutmeg and cayenne. Turn off the heat.

Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Add the spinach and mix well.

Pour into a well sprayed 9×11 glass or ceramic baking dish. Prepare crumb topping.

Melt butter in a medium skillet, add panko, sprinkle with a little sea salt and stir until lightly browned.

Gently smooth the topping on top of the gratin. Cook for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes until bubbling.

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