This spinach gratin recipe is comprised of an already tasty creamed spinach topped with Gruyere and Parmesan, and then baked. The top is crispy and cheesy, and the inside is creamy and seriously flavorful.
I have made this spinach many times, especially on holidays to accompany roast beef. It kind of reminds me of the side dishes, e.g. creamed corn and Yorkshire pudding, that would be served in the old traditional prime rib restaurants such as Lawry's, Gulliver's, or Tracton's in southern California. Prime rib was considered to be such a luxury at that time.
While Tracton's has met its demise, the other two still exist. In fact, I think Lawry's still hosts the Beef Bowl, an annual dinner for the two teams playing in the Rose Bowl, "the Granddaddy of Them All."
This dish can be assembled up to two days in advance prior to baking. It is also easily scaled for smaller or larger crowds. If you are baking for a large crowd, use a fairly shallow casserole dish. I have often baked mine in my toaster oven to free up oven space, and it has worked out wonderfully. It also makes terrific leftovers.
This is such an easy and elegant side dish. The first time I served this was for Christmas Eve dinner for my extended family. This was the only dish that disappeared. The serving dish was empty. Completely. I'm just saying. We are not vegetable people. It's just that good. I promise.
Spinach Gratin Recipe
Very generously serves 8 to 10
4 T unsalted butter
4 C chopped onions (white, sweet, or brown)
1/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 C heavy cream
2 C milk
5 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach, thawed, with as much water squeezed out of it.
1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 T Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 C freshly grated Gruyere cheese
- Preheat oven to 435 degrees F.
- In a large skillet or saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the flour and nutmeg and stir for another two minutes, until the flour has been absorbed.
- Add the cream and milk, and cook for another few minutes, until the mixture has thickened.
- Add the spinach, 1/2 of the Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan and the Gruyere.
- Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered. The cheese should be browned and bubbly.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten (2001).