You probably already know that spinach is good for you. And I'm probably the only person in the world who actually likes it. But even if you don't, or especially if you don't, this spinach au gratin recipe is perfect for you. What's better than covering a vegetable with cheese? Making it low-fat and guilt free, that's what.
This recipe is adapted from Skinny Taste, which was a makeover recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Both recipes say it's the perfect recipe for the holidays. And I believe them. However, it's also good to make as a mini-meal or side dish. In fact, I reheated a large helping of it for dinner last night and was fully satisfied. It also went great with sweet apple chicken sausage. Make it on Sunday and reheat it for the next week and you'll be a well fed college student.
4 Tablespoons of light butter
1 cup of finely chopped onion (about half an onion)
1/4 cup of flour
1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg
3 cups of fat free or low fat milk
3 pounds (3 16-oz packages) of chopped spinach, defrosted.
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon of salt
Black pepper (to taste, 1/2 teaspoon is recommended, but I didn't use any at all)
3/4 cup of shredded Swiss Gruyere cheese
First, drain the previously frozen but now defrosted spinach. To do this, put one bag at a time into a strainer and mash it with a potato masher, large slotted spoon, or a fork, to drain all the excess liquid. Move to a large bowl and then do the next bag. Alternatively, the comment section on the Skinny Taste post had the suggestion of using a potato ricer. Do whatever you have to do to drain as much liquid as you can from the spinach.
Next, melt the butter in a large saute pan. Saute the onions over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Then, add the flour and the nutmeg. Cook for about 2 more minutes while stirring occasionally.
After 2 minutes, add the milk. Cook for about 5 more minutes, while the mixture thickens.
At this point you should begin to preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Then, slowly stir the spinach into the mixture. Add in 1/2 a cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of Swiss Gruyere cheese..
Next, spoon this into a large casserole dish. Spread it evenly, then cover with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and 1/2 cup of Swiss Gruyere cheeses.
Then, place on the center rack of your oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and it becomes hot and bubbly. You'll be able to tell when it's ready, don't worry.
Allow to cool slightly before serving. And enjoy. My goodness you should enjoy this recipe because it is delicious.
I'm still trying to decide if it's worth trying to make this on Thanksgiving. It is not the kind of dish that can be prepared ahead of time and I don't want to crowd an already crowded kitchen. However, I do highly suggest this recipe and I recommend trying it if you have the time and the kitchen ability.
This is definitely not a dorm-friendly recipe. But it is good for any student living off-campus or anyone trying to prepare something when they are home for the holidays.