Simply Spinach Au Gratin

or out of season, but on our plates, a veggie for the winter months

Vegetables are always important regardless of the season, unfortunately they just don't taste the same year round.  So there have to be creative ways to perk up those options and make them appealing when out of season or they just won't make it to the dinner table.  One of my favorite ways to entice less than optimal veggies to join the party to is to bake them them with some of my favorite flavors - mostly a dash or two of cheese and carbs (in the way of seasoned bread crumbs).  This dresses up everything from broccoli to asparagus to brussel sprouts, it really can't go wrong.  But when it came to spinach, those oh so healthy dark green leaves seemed to beckon for a bit more and a richness it so rightly deserves.  It may seem like a lot of food when you toss all this together, but it cooks down to a reasonable amount for a family of two to four.  This is a great side dish for heavier meats such as steak or thick cut grilled or broiled fish, and spinach isn't nearly as scary as it may seem when all dressed up like this.  Check it out:

1 large bunch fresh spinach
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup low fat milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp crushed garlic
salt to taste
6+ tbsp Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1. Wash out the spinach and shake dry.  Cut of the stems and roughly chop if desired.

2. In a large bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients except for half of the breadcrumbs and stir well to combine.  Add in the spinach leaves and toss to coat.

3. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and top with the remaining seasoned bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 F for 20 min or until the spinach is wilted and the "sauce" a bit thickened.  Allow to rest for a couple minutes to set before serving.

Side note: depending on how creamy you like this dish, you may choose to reduce the amount of milk and cream a bit after you make it the first time.  Just keep in mind if you are doing it while cooking that the end result is quite different than how it looks going into the oven.  It is part of the magic of the shrinking spinach syndrome. 

No comments:

Post a Comment