Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spinach Gratin

I know that gratins usually involve making a type of white sauce, but I've been reading some French cookbooks lately and that's not always the case. I looked up the word "gratin" in my big French dictionary and discovered that gratin simply means to finish a dish by putting grated cheese on top and running it under the broiler or a hot oven.

Since making a white sauce takes time, and contains more carbs than I need, I made this dish the other night. It's fast and tasted delicious.

Spinach Gratin

1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tablespoons cream (half and half or heavy)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup (or more) grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in frying pan, saute onion until tender. Add spinach and garlic and saute, tossing lightly, until the spinach is wilted and most of the water has evaporated from it. Season to taste. Place in a shallow ovenproof casserole. Drizzle the cream over top, sprinkle on the cheese and bake at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes. Or run under the broiler until the cheese is toasty.

This can be done ahead and then baked at the last minute before serving. Just add a few minutes more baking time.

The photo was taken before baking, hence the "untoasted" cheese.

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