Creamed Spinach Gratin is an easy, yet elegant, side dish to make whenever you are pressed for time. You could make the creamed spinach ahead of time and pop it into the oven whenever you are ready to serve.
Most versions call for frozen spinach, which is what I would normally use as well. I’ve decided to experiment with fresh spinach today. Instead of thawing the frozen spinach and squeezing them dry, simply blanch the fresh spinach for about 15 seconds in boiling water. Rinse them with cold water and squeeze them as dry as possible. Whether you are using frozen or fresh spinach, it is important to remove as much water as you can to prevent your creamed spinach from being too watery.
Don’t be alarmed by the amount of spinach as once they are cooked, the amount will reduce significantly. I love to serve it along with a nicely seared steak, roasted garlic butter mushroom and creamy garlic mashed potatoes.
I got all my ingredients for this recipe at FairPrice Finest, and you can do the same at any of their outlets too.
3 x packets fresh baby spinach / 450 g frozen whole leaf spinach (I’m using fresh)
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 small yellow onion –finely chopped
Pinch of ground nutmeg
30 g unsalted butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup (230 ml) whipping / cooking cream
½ tsp chicken seasoning powder
½ tsp salt and pepper
2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (parmesan cheese)
Shredded gruyere / cheddar cheese
Panko breadcrumb mix with a little olive oil
Serves 4 to 5
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add in the fresh spinach leaves. Cook for about 15 seconds and remove from water.
Rinse with cold water to prevent it from cooking further. This will also prevent the spinach from turning yellow.
Take a handful of spinach and squeeze out as much water as you can. Repeat with the rest and set aside. It is important that your spinach is as dry as possible. If you are using frozen spinach, simply thaw them and squeeze them dry as well.
In a pot or a deep pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
Add in onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add in garlic and continue to cook for another minute, be careful not to burn the garlic.
Pour in the cream and season with nutmeg, salt, chicken seasoning and black pepper.
Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.
Add in spinach and parmesan cheese and mix well.
Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste again if necessary.
Once it is done, transfer into a large heat proof baking casserole dish or individual ramekins like mine.
Top with shredded cheese, panko and bake until the cheese is melted and the panko is nicely brown.
Remove from oven and serve warm.
Make ahead: You could prepare the creamed spinach ahead of time. Cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge. Simply bring it to room temperature and top with shredded cheese and panko before baking it in the oven.