Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Creamed Spinach

Fresh spinach is quickly wilted and then finished in a rich and decadent cream sauce.

4 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium white onion, diced (about 2/3 cup)
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese
3 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
2. Place half of the fresh spinach into the skillet and cook until just beginning to wilt. Remove to a large baking dish. Continue until all of the spinach has been wilted using additional oil as needed.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
4. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the onion. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Whisk in the milk. Reduce the heat to medium.
7. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, bay leaves and cloves. Continue stirring until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. Pour half of the sauce over the spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt in the sauce. Add the remaining spinach and sauce.
9. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the casserole.
10. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling.

Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus baking

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