This gratin is almost always on the buffet for Christmas at our house. A nice substitute for potatoes, it goes well with the beef tenderloin I usually serve. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking, but the nutmeg is the classic spice to add. Made with less cheese than is traditional, and also without cream, this lighter version demands as great tasting frozen spinach as you can find. It took one truckload of the fresh stuff to convince me that frozen, organic spinach is the only way to go here. —Lizthechef
Test Kitchen Notes
Creamed spinach with a crunch, Lizthechef's gratin applies a layer of finesse to an age-old comfort food. A fragrant onion bechamel, made savory with a generous addition of Gruyere, envelops chopped spinach in its lush embrace without overwhelming it. We especially love the layer of buttery-crisp, salty panko crowning the top. Pair with some steak, a baked potato and a nice Cabernet, and you've got one heck of a meal. - A&M —The Editors
medium-sized yellow onions, chopped
organic whole milk
freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups
grated Gruyere cheese
16 oz. bags of organic, chopped spinach - thawed
kosher salt (up to 1 teaspoon)
ground white pepper (up to 1/2 teaspoon)
Squeeze the liquid from the thawed spinach, handful by handful. Set aside.
Heat milk to simmer in saucepan.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and cook until wilted but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the hot milk and whisk the sauce until it thickens. Add the nutmeg and cayenne. Turn off the heat.
Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Taste and correct seasoning. Add the spinach and mix in well.
Pour into a 9X11 glass or ceramic baking dish. Prepare crumb topping.
Melt butter in medium skillet. Add panko, sprinkle with sea salt and stir until lightly toasted. This occurs quite suddenly.
Gently smooth the toasted panko on top of the gratin. Cook for 30-35 minutes until bubbling.